- Legal States
Julie Moraine June 16, 2020 3 min read
AGA Encourages Regulators to Seek Cashless Payments on US Casino Floors
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has published a new report urging regulators to enact quick changes that would allow the casino industry to adopt cashless payments.
Cashless Payments Needed to Modernize the Casino Industry in the US
Moving forward, US casinos would prefer to rely on cashless payments as a way to deter the spread of COVID-19, a new report published earlier today by the American Gaming Association (AGA), the country’s national trade body, said.
Cashless payments, the AGA argued in the report, would help keep patrons and staff members stay safe and avoid handling money, which could help in reducing the number of new novel coronavirus infected people.
The AGA has requested from regulators to seek ways to frame this as a recommendation in the licensing agreement with casinos and make the integration of such payment solutions easy and more importantly legal under current legal gambling statutes.
The proposal is not self-serving nor is it a way to feign interest, with the AGA having had 18 months to prepare and conduct a survey across commercial and tribal casinos, as well as suppliers, creating the basis for a cashless future on the casino floor.
Some casinos have already been able to adopt, offering payments via Google Pay and Apple Pay as well as PayPal. Many of these casinos already have established digital skins in places like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, making the integration of digital payment methods simpler.
Overcoming Regulatory Burdens to Usher in Innovation
Commenting on the proposal, AGA CEO Bill Miller had this to say: “Advancing opportunities for digital payments has been one of our top priorities since my first day at the AGA” He further explained that gaming should try and stay up to date, catching up to 21st century industry standards as well as uphold “rigorous regulatory and responsible gaming measures.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic made it all the more important to advance our efforts to provide customers with the payment choice they are more comfortable with and have increasingly come to expect in their daily lives,” added.
He acknowledged that there was a significant lack of the endorsement of digital payment solutions across the United States, which he chalked up to red tape and regulatory conditions that do not allow innovation as readily and as openly as some casinos would want to see.
Nevada and several tribal casinos across the United States do have digital options, but this is mostly a new technology and not as popular with consumers, making maintenance costs unjustified and potential regulatory hiccups doubly off-putting.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement director David Rebuck has reminded that cashless transactions are legal in Atlantic City as well as the rest of the state. Meanwhile, Sandra Douglass Morgan, chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, confirmed that casinos are now exploring different scenarios to introduce cashless gambling in a way that would be unambiguous and accessible to casino patrons.
Better Control Over Gambling Habits
According to the AGA, allowing players to use cashless payment solutions would allow them to exercise better control over their own gambling sections. Players would be able to introduce gambling limits and avoid suffering heavy losses.
With the cases in Nevada of COVID-19 infected patients increasing, mandatory face masks and additional safety measures, such as the introduction of cashless payment technology may soon be the new normal.