The US casino industry group is lobbying state gaming regulators to think about allowing casinos to accept more cashless payments to reduce the risk of further COVID-19 transmission.

On Tuesday, the  American Gaming Association (AGA) released its new Payments Modernization Policy Principles, a 7-point plan for decreasing the need for gambling operators to carry out the majority of their financial transactions using what is now widely considered as even filthier money in the form of bank notes.

The AGA said last week that more than 60% of US casinos have resumed operations following their long pandemic lockdowns. Business until now at these reopened venues has been hindered by social distancing requirements, and AGA survey data indicates 57% of players prefer the option of cashless payments during their visit as opposed to handling cash.

The Association additionally believes that cashless payment options will allow punters to set spending limits in advance and better watch their gambling activity. Offering players with more payment methods will also help “reduce the current friction between gaming and non-gaming segments of an integrated resort.”

On the regulatory side, the Association wants state regulators to draw new rules that “align with relevant federal regulations” to both simplify industry compliance and allow regulators to better monitor a “consistent, transparent framework.” The AGA as well believes digital transactions will enable law enforcement to better find financial wrongdoers.

Some Nevada casino operators have done trial runs of digital payments on their gaming floors via Automated Cashless Systems’ PlayOn gaming table-based ATM system, which has been approved for use by state gaming regulators. PlayOn allows casino visitors to set limits in advance and to keep an eye on their gambling spending.

Although Vegas casino patrons may be afraid of catching cash-cooties, they seem largely unconcerned by the followers around them pumping coronavirus droplets into the surrounding environment. Since Nevada casinos’ reopening earlier this June, masks are widespread among casino employees but visitors wearing masks are reported to be a distinct minority of casino guests.

On Monday, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak confirmed that gamblers’ mask use would, for now, be pursued “on a voluntary basis”. Sisolak said gambling operators were “going out of their way” to encourage mask use but he stated that some firms “are doing better than others” on this matter.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board is still strongly encouraging casino visitors to wear masks but warned that the policy could become a must if Nevada’s COVID-19 infection rates showed a random spike.


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