The Nevada Gaming Commission has voted to approve eight amendments regarding cashless gaming systems regulations. The changes are effective immediately and could see several new systems provided by manufacturers to make it easier for casino patrons to pay when playing table games and slots.
easier for casino patrons to pay when playing table games and slots
The commission believes the changes will allow casinos to move away from traditional currency to focus on electronic payment transfer products. Gaming regulators have been reviewing cashless options for quite some time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the need for a germ-free way for gamblers to transfer funds.
Cashless gaming systems
The approved amendments do away with an interim step required within existing regulations. Funds currently have to be transferred digitally to a device located inside the gambling venue which will print out a dollar amount. The cash can then be used to play slot games.
Cashless systems can move funds from a digital wallet found on devices such as tablets and smartphones. This way, casino patrons can be at a slot machine or table game and pay digitally to play. They will also be able to move any winnings earned to a digital wallet, which can then be used to transfer funds to a bank account.
Advocates of responsible gaming have come forward with concerns over accessibility and compulsive gamblers. They claim it would be too easy for a problem gambler to access funds with a digital solution available.
Despite their concern, the Nevada gaming commissioners went ahead and approved the regulation changes. Their vote in favor is expected to lead to revisions regarding self-imposed limits and self-exclusion.
Before the vote, John Moran, acting commission chairman, stated:
I don’t think you really give anything up by approving the first step.”
Other members of the commission commented that there are systems in place that make it easy to trace transactions via cashless systems. The commission would also oversee the new financial systems, with proposed devices undergoing a thorough review before obtaining licensing approval.
AGA in agreement
The CEO and president of the American Gaming Association (AGA), Bill Miller, took to Twitter to applaud the commission on its recent decision:
The commission’s vote in favor of the amendments comes just days after the AGA published policies providing guidance for cashless payment integration. The association maintains it is a safer option for the gambling community that also has anti-money laundering benefits.
The AGA pointed out that there is an increased need for cashless payment options to protect consumers during and after the pandemic. A survey it completed showed that 59% of visitors to casinos were less likely to use cash in everyday life in the wake of COVID-19. Around 54% of respondents preferred a contactless or digital option.