Jason Stump

Cashless Casino Transactions

Traditionally, the casino is an all cash business with the exception of markers, paying with a credit or debit card for hotel, retail, entertainment or hotel purchases. Quite a long time ago I asked myself, why can’t casino transactions be cashless, too? The revolution toward a cashless society started in the late 1990s when a company called PayPal was launched, and their purpose was to deploy a payment processor where you can pay for auctions, plane tickets, ridesharing and more with a digital wallet. Apple Pay, another digital wallet service, was launched several years later, and it quickly became mainstreamed.

I envision by 2028, the digital wallet will be the only way to play in the casino, and ATM machines will be a thing of the past. You will no longer have to pay upwards of $10 to get money out of your accounts, and visits to the casino cage will be minimal, if at all.

My first example of how a digital wallet will replace paper money is in the various sportsbooks. In Nevada, you must first go to your favorite casino to fund your sports wagering account before you can place your bet on a sportsbook mobile app. Then it happens. You are watching your favorite college football game when you want to place another bet, but quickly realize that all the money you initially deposited is tied up in other bets. You hop back in the car and drive to your favorite casino, battling traffic, finding a parking space, (one you hopefully don’t have to pay for) and swiftly walk to the sportsbook to manually fund your sportsbook account again. I have said to myself many times, wouldn’t this process be easier for me and the sportsbooks if I could just fund my account electronically? The largest sportsbook in the world, Westgate Superbook, now has this capability, and Station Casinos and others are quickly following suit.

I see in the not-so-distant future that the digital wallet will also optimize other archaic processes. My second example is that you will be able to walk up to a table game, pull out your phone with the mobile app and buy chips at the table – all done with your electronic wallet. When the dealer asks you to color up, you will be able to redeem your chips at the table game instantly, getting money back in your digital wallet and saving a trip to the casino cage. How many times have you played blackjack and needed more money for that guarantee double-down win? Or you’re on a hot craps table and need more money? A digital wallet solves this problem.

And finally, imagine walking up to your favorite slot machine armed with your phone, electronically funding the slot machine and playing? Ready to leave? Just hit the cash out button and watch the money electronically flow into your digital wallet.

This technology already exists, and 10 years from now, we will look back at this and say the digital wallet was the next big thing.

Jason joined Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in March 2017 as the Vice President, IT after spending 3 years with Affinity Gaming as the Sr Vice President & CIO. Jason has over 25 years of experience in the gaming industry and he begin his gaming career at Promus Companies in 1993. Contact Jason.