The Nevada Gaming Commission is currently considering changing electronic currency exchange regulations to allow for additional digital payments at their domestic casinos.
Slot games across the country have been using ticketing systems for nearly twenty years, and now, cashless technology providers are eager to get in on the action of other floor and table games, such as blackjack and poker, in Nevada casinos.
The desire for digital payment options stems directly from the Coronavirus quarantine and the desire for customers to relinquish the need to handle physical currency. Paper money and coinage pass through many hands, and keeping the physical currency clean is a difficult, if not impossible, task.
This Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Commission will consider measures that will allow debit and credit card transactions. These digital monetary exchanges can occur at slot machines or at a table game.
These forms of exchange would carry daily limits, the amount of which will also be decided by the Commission.
As other regions have been slow to roll out digital monetary transfer options, Nevada will set the tone for the domestic casinos in the United States. The industry will be watching closely, and will likely follow suit if the experiment is successful.
Other payment options that are being considered are smartphone-based credit and debit card payments such as Apple Pay, as well as online payment juggernaut PayPal, which allows for credit card payments or direct withdrawals from checking or savings accounts.
Casinos are also considering the use of digital wallets, but there are several regulatory factors to consider, as well as oversight from multiple federal entities.
There is also the up-front cost of adding these features into the casino games that could prove to be prohibitive. Casinos are desperate to start raking in the funds once again after extended COVID-19-related closures and don’t have the requisite cash flow to begin a new phase of development.
Still, studies show that nearly 60% of those surveyed stated that a cashless form of payment is important to them, according to the Nevada Independent.
Even if cashless payments become the new norm at Nevada casinos, each state has its own regulations regarding how payments can be accepted at domestic betting facilities.
Safe gaming advocates are interested in digital payment services because it will be easier to track problem gamblers and can provide the industry more easily trackable data.
There is also the opportunity to crack down on illegal money laundering operations and curtail fraudulent transactions.
Domestic betting operations have neglected to take notice of the elephant in the room, the offshore casino websites that have been utilizing digital payments for two decades.
Most offshore casinos allow for deposits to be made via credit and debit cards, as well as wire transfers. Online betting sites have a strong preference for cryptocurrency, something that domestic casinos have yet to embrace.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Tether are commonly accepted at online casinos operating offshore, and their unregulated status allows for quick, easy, and secure transactions.
The best part is, a majority of these online casinos allow for membership beginning at 18 years old, and that is precisely the demographic that is most comfortable with cryptocurrency, as it is a relatively new phenomenon that older crowds have yet to adopt in large numbers.
Nevada’s efforts to install cashless payments could go a long way toward mass adoption across the board at domestic casinos, but the industry would be wise to research the strategies that online casinos have already had in place for many years.