What are the odds on Las Vegas casinos going cashless? Looks like better than even right now if the COVID-19 health and safety precautions prevail. Gaming regulators and the industry itself has green-lighted looking into mobile apps and digital wallets, something that sports betting venues have successfully implemented. Casinos will find major savings if they go cashless by reducing the labor intensive cash counting and reconciliation. After all, slot machines stopped taking coins a long time ago. If considering an over-under wager for the amount of time it will take to start seeing digital betting in Vegas casinos—take the under.
The following Wall St. Journal article reports more on this topic:
The U.S. casino industry remains a bastion of cash in an increasingly cashless world, where high-security vaults storing millions of dollars have inspired heist movies and the living-large vibe of Las Vegas is ferried in bags bulging with currency.
But the coronavirus pandemic has generated concern over bills circulating among hundreds of hands on the casino floor, and that is pushing casinos toward cashless technology after years of discussion.
The Nevada Gaming Commission, which oversees casinos, on Thursday approved rule changes that clear the way for wider use of cashless wagering in casinos. The American Gaming Association, an industry trade group, this month gave state and tribal regulators a list of priorities for modernizing payment systems.
Cashless payments through mobile phones and digital wallets—paying for poker chips or slot-machine credits like a cup of coffee from Starbucks —would bring bricks-and-mortar casinos more in line with modern life. Fears over the spread of Covid-19 are leading to broader consumer adoption of mobile-phone payment systems such as ApplePay or Starbucks’ app to avoid contact at cash registers.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group