COVID 19 Has Accelerated the Process of Cashless Gaming in the Casinos

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( — July 15, 2020) — During the Covid 19 phase, many casinos opted for cashless payment as most people stayed at home and had no other option. All physical casinos were closed as a preventive measure to stop the spread of the virus. Though cashless gaming was introduced about two decades ago, most people were not interested in it. 

In fact, Nevada Gaming Commission is also considering changing two regulations which were already dealing with electronic money transfer to gaming devices or games. Under the current system, a player or a bettor can load money to a gaming device or to a particular game. 

Sandra Douglass Morgan, Chairwoman of Gaming Control Board confirmed that the change in the language will codify the existing systems. The language written in the coding confirms that a bettor can only load money if the money transfer is executed through a wagering system which is cashless. The systems which operate cashless must pass certain extra requirements of the Gaming Control Board. The Chairwoman said that the system has to be licensed and must have the approval of the board. Many casinos do not have that license. Only companies having high casino rating are generally found to have a license of accepting digital payments.

Some other changes include making a daily limit on the money transfer limit and including gambling messages which are responsible and well displayed on those devices where the bettor is interested in playing. 

A research conducted by the American Gaming Association showed that 57 percent of the visitors who went to the casino last year said that they prefer contactless or digital payments in the casino because of the pandemic named Covid 19. In a separate study, 59% of the customers are of the view that they are willing to go for cashless transactions in every field of their life to protect them from this pandemic.

After the spread of the coronavirus, most Americans are interested to go for cashless gaming as they want to avoid touching currency notes. In a recently held survey it has been revealed that a large number of casino players prefer using cashless technology for the purpose of gaming. The American Gaming Association is trying to come out with a framework which will allow digital payments even on the casino floors. In general, use of credit cards is not allowed for making digital payments in many states as the concept is one should not borrow money to gamble. 

Many people are of the opinion that the recent pandemic of Covid-19 has created a new interest in the field of cashless payment in gaming. But the matter is actually not so. For the last 18 months, the American Gaming Association has been working relentlessly in framing a concrete framework of covering eight principles of making the casino payment system modernized on a national level. Some of the important points which are being addressed include regulatory acceptance, gaming with responsibility, convenience and choice and also care for public health.

In the last held Global Gaming Expo, Bill Miller, CEO of AGA said that the main aim of the organization is to bring the concept of digital payment to the floor of the big casinos. The board members of AGA are of the view that they want to bring out the casino industry from this prehistoric payment system. The players of the bettors will now see a sea change in payment system both on and off the casino floors.

The pandemic which saw a shutdown of nationwide casinos from mid of March accelerated the push of the cashless technology in gaming which also became popular in other areas of the businesses.

Experts are of the opinion that going for cashless payment will help to attract more players who are not interested in cash transactions back into the business or activities of online casinos. Technical experts are of the view that more opening of cashless gaming may create more opportunities for many business houses. In a simple cashless transaction process, at least five companies are involved behind the scenario in a single cashless transaction. It is not possible for one single company to execute the entire process. Hence as more casinos will go for online cashless transactions more doors of business opportunities will open up to various companies. 

A company named Everi is already in the business of providing kiosks to physical casinos which facilitates the customers withdrawing money with their debit cards which goes directly into a ticket voucher which can be used in a gaming table or in a slot machine. Customers can set the amount which they are going to invest in a game. Everi is also in the process of testing the concept of virtual wallet for the customers. Under the new technology it will help the players using their mobile device for activating the slot machines. They will make an app that will allow a patron to transfer the necessary funds from the debit card to the platform and the latter will tied to the loyalty account of the player.

Transformation to a cashless gambling system will have many advantages. First, it will increase the legal compliance to a great extent and will also help to improve the safety and health of the public in large, especially under this pandemic.

With the increase in interest in digital and cashless technology, different slot machine makers are also in the process of making mobile wallets. Most of the slot machines in the industry are provided by four main manufacturers. They are Scientific Games, International Game Technology, Konami Gaming and Aristocrat Technologies. Hence to keep a balance the mobile wallets need to be uniform in nature. It is also interesting to know that the companies going for e-wallets need to have money transmitter licenses which are fully regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, in short FDIC. It ensures there should be funds in an account if any bettor wants to play the game.

But every bettor should opt for responsible gaming and should ensure a daily spending limit on gaming so that he does not become a popper at the end of the day.