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Julie Moraine December 31, 2020 3 min read
Mobile and Cashless Tech to Dictate Casino Recovery and Future in 2021
Technology will lead the way in gaming and casino industry’s recovery moving into 2021, with pandemic-related challenges still persistent.
“Technology, Technology, Technology” to Lead the Way for Gaming Recovery
Next year should be one dominated by mobile technologies, argues an article published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that has focused on the importance of cashless technologies and interactive solutions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Not quite over just yet, the pandemic is going to determine the future of gaming, Las Vegas and Nevada, with businesses becoming more agile and prepared to weather the sudden turn of events disrupting the normal rhythm of operations. The outlook is somewhat gloomy, but technology may be here to the rescue.
According to Global Market Advisors partner Brendan Bussmann companies will have one way out of becoming overly dependent on brick-and-mortar operations, and that is through the use of technology.
This opinion seems to be seconded by Wynn Las Vegas and Encore former vice president of casino operations, Debi Nutton, who outlines a technology-dominated future for Las Vegas and the casino industry worldwide. As Nutton puts it, it’s all about “technology, technology, technology.”
Cashless Is the Way Forward
More digital solutions will become the norm in 2021, argues Nutton whose long experience in the industry at a time when it relied predominantly on an up-close experience has not clouded her ability to see innovation and welcome it. Florida and California seem to lead the way when it comes to cashless solutions.
Rooms will be opened with one’s mobile phone, which will now become guests’ way of accessing anything on a casino resort in Nevada and beyond, says Nutton. Gaming is changing, too, with cashless and mobile solutions quickly entering the mainstream as a way to minimize physical interactions at a time dangerous pathogens have brought the world to its knees.
Touchless Technology to Become the New Normal
Nevada Resort Association President Virginia Valentine remains confident that touchless technologies are a staple of the future casino experience, and that the next years will be about establishing rigorous standards by gaming regulators.
But just because mobile technologies are around the corner, this doesn’t mean casinos and resorts would let up on safety and health measures, she said.
Instead, establishments are likely to continue pushing for better sanitary and health conditions as well as come up with new cleaning schedules, “re-imagine buffets,” and generally incorporate new casino etiquette.
Bussman also sees the introduction of cashless money as the future. Presently, Bussmann says, there are 19 states to have sports betting up and running with eight more states pending launch. Even outliers such as Texas and Massachusetts are now catching up some of that sports betting fever.
He expects, however, to see restrictions carry well into 2021, including the 25% capacity limit, which has proven one of the biggest challenges for casino floors designed to host thousands of people at the same time.
Bussmann similarly has cautioned that recovery is very fragile at the present moment due to the uncertainty about Las Vegas and Nevada’s outlook on reining in Covid-19 infections. Should cases surge and restriction remain intact, this recovery will slow down, Bussmann predicts.
Meanwhile, Visa announced cashless payments during the Super Bowl, anticipating interest in the year’s pivotal sports event and looking to bolster health and safety among the general population.