Gaming Going Cashless

4 Ways Casinos Can Seamlessly Navigate the Transition to ePayment

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Cashless Wagering

A New World for Casino Payment

It’s a new world for casinos. With the recent changes in regulations enacted by the Nevada Gaming Commission, the door has finally been opened to cashless wagering on casino floors—a change long in the making. Cashless wagering can mean benefits for operators and players, and a better gaming experience for all—if it’s implemented correctly.

So what should casino operators who are shopping for digital upgrades consider when it comes to integrating cashless wagering? Let’s break it down into four areas of focus, from implementation to system integration.

Focus #1

Ease of Implementation

Ease of implementation is likely at the top of every operator’s priority list. From customer management systems to casino gaming payment systems to the gaming machines themselves, a casino is a network of many existing technologies. A complete overhaul of these technologies would not only be costly, it would require in-depth planning and deep logistical oversight to ensure all operations run smoothly. To avoid the time, hassle and cost of system-wide upgrades, any new system should be able to seamlessly integrate into an operator’s existing systems. 

How can casinos do this? Look for modular solutions that allow you to build on your existing systems, like adding Bluetooth (BLE) technology to bill validators to allow for mobile payments. By allowing players to pay with a tap of their phones, you’ll offer a quick, convenient way to pay that’s even more in demand now that customers are increasingly concerned with reducing contact with shared surfaces like PIN pads. 

These types of incremental solutions not only enable operators to begin integrating new systems sooner, they make the shift to cashless more gradual—and easier to accept—for customers who may need time to adapt to rapid shifts in technology. 

Focus #2

Different Solutions for Different Systems

While casinos haven’t historically been able to use cashless payment devices on their gaming floors, most are likely using the technology elsewhere in their establishments—in restaurants, at front desks, and in other attended locations off the casino floors where customers are accustomed to handing a staff member a credit or debit card as payment. 

It’s tempting to want to use the same technology and hardware throughout the casino floor—after all, they’re familiar to staff and patrons, and already work with the casino’s systems. But a slot machine can’t use the same cashless device as an attended location like a restaurant or the front desk of a hotel. Cashless wagering devices on something like a slot machine need to work reliably, securely, and intuitively—and they need to do it all without having a staff member nearby to monitor and troubleshoot. While it may seem less familiar at first, choosing a cashless wagering system supplier that specializes in unattended machines will save time and manpower for years to come.

Every casino’s system is different, which means a customized approach is key. Where to start? Look for a supplier with experience with smart payment systems and existing relationships with original equipment manufacturers (OEM). Not only will this allow them to work closely on custom integration solutions—they’ll also be more likely to know the ins and outs of your current system, and be aware of its limitations. These types of suppliers are more likely to have experience with making a device work with all the existing peripherals of a machine, like printers and screens, and communicating across different protocols. It all adds up to the experience it takes to create a customized solution just for your operation.

Focus #3

Reliability: The Ultimate ROI

In addition to ease of integration, it’s vital that any cashless wagering system works efficiently. That means the technology is reliable, secure, easy to update regularly, and dependable even in a high-demand, high-traffic environment. And with casinos operating at reduced capacity due to COVID, operators will be looking to avoid machine downtime at all costs to avoid losing revenue, making the reliability of cashless systems more important than ever. By going with proven technology for their cashless wagering, operators can ensure that they won’t just have an easier time implementing a new system—they won’t have to worry about it down the line. 

So what should operators look for when it comes to guaranteeing a reliable system? Suppliers that have experience in developing unattended cashless systems, as well as the extensive support and service teams needed to quickly respond to and resolve any issues that may arise. Additionally, operators should look for suppliers that support solutions with backend software that can help them proactively address issues through updates, solving problems before they happen. 

And of course, the more reliable and efficient a system is, the more quickly it will pay itself off. While cashless wagering represents a major opportunity for casinos, operators are still looking for a return on their investment. The less time and money operators need to spend on upkeep and maintenance, and the easier it is for patrons to use, the better. 

Focus #4

Don't Lose Sight on Cash

Cashless wagering doesn’t mean the end of cash in casinos. Far from it, in fact. Many players prefer to use cash, and will continue to do so even with cashless wagering systems in place. As new technology is implemented, these players should not be overlooked, and cash should continue to be accommodated in any new system. Some systems offer a best-of-both-worlds approach, handling cash, card, and digital payments, all in one convenient location.

A seamless cashless solution should integrate into a casino’s existing cash handling systems, allowing operators to easily monitor the flow of currency from a single platform. Choosing a supplier with a comprehensive product roadmap that supports both cash and cashless payments, both on the casino floor and in places like the soft and hard count rooms, will give operators a streamlined, holistic view of how currency is moving through their casino.

The Best Solution

A Single Supplier: the Key to Payment Success

As casino operators weigh their options, what’s the best way to address all of these key considerations and more? Is there a simple-to-implement cashless wagering system that will make operators’ lives easier? The answer: single-supplier operations. A single supplier that meets the specific needs of each operator individually will offer a number of benefits. 

Choosing a single-supplier allows operators to work directly with one company and one point of contact, ultimately streamlining how installation, integration and servicing are handled throughout the process. With a system that’s consistent across all machines in every location across a casino, the supplier will be able to more easily implement and upgrade the cashless wagering technology, meaning casino operators will spend less time coordinating with third-party companies for maintenance and troubleshooting. Additionally, single-supplier operations offer streamlined oversight for operators, thanks to a single, unified platform to manage all payments. 

Cashless wagering offers many benefits, for players and operators alike. The industry’s new regulations mean opportunities to modernize casino floors and make the wagering experience even more convenient, easy and fun for patrons, while simultaneously increasing efficiency and oversight for casino operators. The right system can make the implementation and integration of cashless wagering a true win/win—and an investment in an even brighter future for gaming. 

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