Cashless gambling got a boost from Nevada regulators Thursday when the Nevada Gaming Commission approved the remote registering and funding of cashless accounts by customers. In short, that means casino-goers can set up spending accounts and fund them on a computer or smartphone before they get to the casino.
Once customers register and fund their accounts, they can use a smartphone to gamble inside a casino or pay for other purchases using their smartphones like it was cash. Nevada currently has no legal real money online casino games.
A cashless system introduced by Sightline Payments debuted at the new Resorts World Las Vegas casino on the north side of the Strip when the casino opened with great fanfare last June.
However, the process of registering for a cashless account and putting money into it from, say a checking account or credit or debit card, had to be done in person. That in-person interaction inside the casino turned out to be cumbersome and worked against one of the main selling points of a cashless system, which is customer convenience.
In considering the remote registration for cashless, Nevada regulators were sufficiently satisfied that thorough identification and security protocols are built into the remote cashless registration. And previously, the Nevada State Attorney General’s office had offered the opinion that the cashless registration did not run afoul of federal law regarding money laundering.
While the recent regulatory action may help encourage cashless transactions within a casino, remote registration for online sports betting is still prohibited in Nevada.
The objection to remote sports betting registration, which exists in many other jurisdictions, such as New Jersey, is that gaming operators in Nevada have spent billions of dollars to build their physical gambling resorts — including creating destination sportsbooks — and remote registration for online sports betting works against getting customers through the doors.
Despite in-person registration, Nevada topped $1 billion in sports betting handle in November for the second straight month.
Illinois is the only other state that requires in-person registration at casinos for online sports betting, but that provision is ending March 5. The law that ends in-person registration was signed in late December by Gov. JB Pritzker.
As Nevada regulators were facilitating registering for cashless accounts to be used inside casinos, International Game Technology (IGT) announced that its Resort Wallet module of the IGT ADVANTAGE casino management system was approved by Nevada regulators.
The approval of remote account registration and funding account means that “players (have) the option to fund their Cashless Wagering Accounts directly from their personal mobile devices, eliminating the need to handle cash or visit a casino cage, ATM or kiosk,” IGT said in an announcement.