Nevada Moves Closer To Cashless Gaming Industry
The Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) unanimously approved last week changes related to how the state’s casinos handle electronic transfers of money to games and devices, which would make a cashless gaming industry one step closer to reality.
Cashless systems are currently in place in other markets and tribal casinos across the US. In Nevada, they will still have to meet the technical standards enforced by the Gaming Control Board (GCB). Acting Chairman for the NGC John Moran Jr. applauded the changes, stating that they could help the state’s gaming industry thrive despite widespread COVID-19 safety measures hampering many of the traditional casino experiences.
The changes include easing restrictions on electronic transfers of cash to games or devices used to play games. While current rules allow the use of debit cards for this purpose, few casinos have a licensed system to provide this option. A daily cap on the amount of money one can transfer and compulsory responsible gambling messages were also approved by the NGC.
According to NGC Member Deborah Fuetsch, the lowering of barriers to cashless wagers and transactions could help support the gaming industry, still struggling to recover after the widespread shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moran noted the approval of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), whose attorney, Dan Reaser, said that a cashless environment would likely have significant benefits for the entire casino industry.
Reaser stated that, in addition to the increased efficiency of gaming machines, casinos that take up cashless systems will have an easier time meeting legal as well as health and safety standards related to the coronavirus.
AGA Supports NGC’s Move
The American Gaming Association (AGA) supported the move by the NGC. The trade organization stated they will be developing a framework for digital casino payments in response to studies that show punters want more cashless options.
Bill Miller, CEO for the AGA, said that cashless systems will spur innovation in the industry, while improving casinos’ ability to comply with the numerous health and safety protocols imposed by public health experts and authorities.
The changes were similarly applauded by advocates for responsible gambling, who said that the new system may be easier to police for problem gambling behaviors. In a letter to the NGC, Alan Feldman— an expert from the UNLV’s International Gaming Institute—said that cashless payments may improve tracking and recording of potential problem gamblers. Feldman also said that the paper trail of cashless payments would help deter money laundering.