A new argument has surfaced in favor of cashless gaming. While regulators and operators have their qualms about the introduction of cashless gaming, they may be in the wrong. Well, at least that is what two people, Everi Holdings’ Darren Simmons and Sightline Payments’ Omer Sattar tend to think.
Businesses will be particularly happy to find out that cashless gaming is associated with the tendency of consumers to spend more. The pair spoke at the AGS GameON Customer Summit and participated in a panel that discussed the future of cashless gaming.
Cashless Gaming Associated with Increased Spending
Simmons, who works as executive vice president and FinTech business head at Everi, argued that cashless gamers tend to spend 15%-20% more on gaming options. Of course, this statement needs to be taken with a grain of salt for several reasons. First, cashless gamers may be more technologically savvy, and arguably better-off, allowing them to spend more money.
However, Everi’s CashClub Wallet has been around since 2020, enabling the company to collect a fair bit of data. Sattar, who is co-founder and co-CEO at Sightline, seems to agree with his colleague. In his company’s case, the percentage of increased spending was on the lines of 12%-18%. But in some cases, the numbers are actually much higher, the executive admits.
There have been instances of 30% and urged operators to begin exploring this concept, albeit with a caveat. Casinos cannot expect an overall increase in revenue. One worry is that people would be paying much less for on-site ATMs and associated fees to withdraw money since they can use a digital wallet to power up their gambling.
Of course, there are other challenges in the industry. A single cashless wallet will most likely not be very feasible, and different casinos will team up with very different cashless providers in the end. Some casino executives have said that they would rather have their unique proposition that does not simply allow clients to spend money at the competitor’s venue across the stress.
Sattar did offer some insight into what would take to create a single-purpose wallet for gaming and said it would need at least 25 million customers. A development of this scale would require $3 billion in marketing funds just to get the word out, but there are hardly any investors who would hinge that much money on that.
Money to Remain King Despite Advancement of Cashless
Not all is lost for physical money though as neither executive expects it to be completely removed from the casino floor. Simmons, for one, is confident it will continue to exist. He acknowledged that “cash is still king” and that while his company was about an all-out push on digital payments, it was a matter of choice. It’s people and they want what they want, he concluded.
Cash is also good because it can sort of protecting the consumer from prying eyes, although cashless gaming makes it so much easier to submit receipts to the tax authorities, for example. The most likely future for the cashless industry in casinos is that people will have different preferences.
Some properties could market themselves successfully to a specific clientele that prefers digital gaming, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Simmons shared that one of Everi’s clients already sees 20% of their player base switching to cashless.
While the two executives had their opinions about cashless, which were mostly the same, they were in hearty agreement that cashless gaming will bring around better responsible gambling protection and responsible play.