While dropping coins in a slot machine inside US casinos might never go the way of the rotary phone or VCR, one company’s executive thinks most casinos will give players more options in the near future. The move toward offering cashless gaming is on.
Some casino operators might be slower to adopt than others but there is some incentive to at least make the payment form available. Those incentives span beyond trying to adapt products to consumer preferences, too.
Cashless gaming could come to a casino near you soon
Chris Justice, the president of Global Payments Inc., spoke with Bryan Horwath of the Las Vegas Sun on the subject of cashless gaming at casinos. Justice was clear in his expectation for the continued integration.
“In the next four years, Justice said he expects 90% of casinos in America to feature some form of a ‘cashless solution’ for payments on a casino floor.”
Some operators are ahead of the trend. For example, Station Casinos introduced IGT’s cashless system at its six Las Vegas properties earlier this month. Horwath says other casinos around the country have already integrated similar systems.
Justice explained the benefits of cashless gaming as far as casino patrons’ experiences go.
“The pendulum is still going back to the fact that consumers don’t want to stand in line, don’t want congested spaces, and don’t want face-to-face conversations.”
There are other benefits besides the ease of use, however.
Cashless modules could provide more responsible gambling tools
Justice pointed out that cashless options deliver data that can help gambling operators and regulators understand problem gambling better. In addition, technology is another way that people can set custom limits for themselves, Justice argued.
Global Payments stated on its website that cashless systems not only allow players to set spending limits but time limits as well. Cashless systems can also help gamblers make better decisions by putting information on their odds of winning at their fingertips.
Furthermore, cashless systems can provide another way to deliver information about resources for people who struggle with pathological gambling. Despite all this potential, the expansion of cashless gaming could be limited not just by operator adoption but by regulator acceptance as well.
Are regulators keeping up with the technology?
Earlier this year, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved new regulations governing the use of cashless gaming systems at brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. The new rules allow users of such platforms to register their accounts completely online.
In 2020, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck told the Associated Press that such systems are legal in that state but individual licensees have to submit their plans for use of the technology for approval. The American Gaming Association pushed for all states with casinos within their borders to accommodate such platforms that same year.
That modification of regulations and regulatory approval could be part of the four-year rollout that Justice spoke of. People who prefer to gamble with cash shouldn’t take that as an indication that the option will fade away, however.
“I don’t think there will be a time when everybody says they’re no longer going to accept anything else but this electronic mechanism,” Justice said.
But if Justice is right, consumers looking for cashless payment options when they play won’t have to wonder if that’s going to be an option at their favorite casinos. Casinos that don’t offer such systems could soon find themselves as outliers rather than industry leaders.