Digital Slot Machine

Digital Slot Machine – Cashless games have been used on slot machines throughout the casino industry for at least two decades, although they were not accepted by customers at first.

When the original ticket-in/out systems were introduced, they confused old slot players who didn’t understand why the winnings came out in the form of a ticket voucher instead of the cash they originally loaded into the machine.

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Everi Holdings CEO Mike Rumbolz remembers those days well. He was vice president of Casino Data Systems when the company deployed one of the earliest ticketing and ticketing devices. Twenty years later, Rumbolz leads Las Vegas-based Everi’s product development efforts in the cashless gaming space, one of dozens of gaming equipment suppliers and technology companies seeking a foothold in the now-expanding segment.

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“The most important part is what the customer wants to do,” said Rumboltz, recalling the initial but small adoption of cashless gaming. “Like ticketing, which became ubiquitous in the casino industry when patrons embraced it, casinos will add cashless when customers embrace it.”

On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Commission will consider changes to two rules related to electronic money transfers to games or gaming devices. The rules currently allow customers to transfer money from a debit card to a game or gaming device, but very few properties have licensed systems.

“The language is to confirm that a patron can only use a debit card at a table or gaming device if the money is transferred through a cashless betting system,” Morgan said, adding that the system “must be licensed and approved by the board.”

Other changes include a daily cash transfer limit and responsible gaming messages that are “prominently displayed” on devices, including the website of the Nevada Problem Gambling Council.

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The American Gaming Association believes the time has come for cashless gaming. The Washington, D.C.-based trade organization announced a system to allow digital payments at casino venues last week, citing research that found most casino customers want the option to use cashless or digital technology for gaming.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred interest in cashless gaming, the AGA is leading an 18-month industry-wide effort to create a framework that encompasses eight principles for modernizing casino payments across the country.

At last year’s Global Gaming Expo, AGA CEO Bill Miller said that transforming casinos to meet the growing digital universe would be a major goal of the organization. Then-AGA chairman Tim Wilmott, who resigned in December as CEO of regional casino operator Penn National Gaming, said the gaming industry was “prehistoric” in how it interacted with customers financially.

The principles cover a range of issues, including responsible gaming, regulatory acceptance, safety, choice and convenience, and public health.

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Miller said cashless payments and digital technologies “fit gaming’s role as a modern 21st century industry and reinforces our already strong regulatory and responsible gaming measures.”

Gaming industry consultant Brendan Bussmann, a partner at Global Market Advisors, said the pandemic, which caused casinos to close in mid-March, should lead to advances in technology that are common in other areas of business.

“Not only does cashless payments allow for a modern experience of how payments are done in every other industry around the world, but it’s likely to help attract more millennials back to (casinos) that were cash-averse,” Bussmann said. .

Omer Sattar, executive vice president of Sightline Payments, a digital payment solutions company in Las Vegas, said the expansion of cashless gaming will create opportunities for many companies.

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Sattar recalled how Starbucks customers pay for their coffee by simply scanning a barcode from a digital wallet on their mobile phone through a QR reader at the register.

“There are probably up to five companies involved in one transaction,” Sattar said. “No company can provide an end-to-end process in a cashless ecosystem.”

“The credit card is the one tool that people are most concerned about,” said Rumboltz, a former chairman of the Board of Control and CEO of both casino operators and manufacturers. “You’re playing with money you don’t have. But the debit card is tied to your checking account.”

Gaming equipment suppliers, through trade body the Association of Game Manufacturers (AGEM), are backing the proposed regulatory changes to be debated on Thursday.

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“As we collectively experienced more than a decade ago with ticketing technologies, transitioning the gaming environment to a cashless environment will have a very positive impact,” AGEM attorney Dan Reaser wrote in a letter to the commission. “These results range from improved legal compliance, improved health and safety, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as more reliable alternatives to responsible gaming and improved operational efficiency.”

AGEM Executive Director Marcus Prater said regulatory change “has to start somewhere, and Nevada has to take the lead.”

Everi already provides casino kiosks where customers can withdraw money from their debit cards directly into a ticket voucher that can be used at a gaming table or slot machine. Customers set the amount they want to withdraw.

The company is testing a virtual wallet for casino customers that allows players to use their mobile devices to activate slot machines. The app allows a patron to move funds from a debit card to a platform that can be linked to their player loyalty account.

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Rumboltz said e-wallets require companies to have federally regulated money transfer licenses overseen by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insures account funds. Everi has received these approvals.

Scientific Games and other slot machine developers are also creating mobile wallets as interest in cashless and digital technologies grows. Sattar said four slot machine manufacturers — International Game Technology, Scientific Games, Aristocrat Technologies and Konami Gaming — supply “95 percent of all slot machines,” so mobile wallets should be unified.

Ramboltz said regulations won’t be the biggest stumbling block to mobile wallets finding their way into playgrounds. Cash-strapped casino operators due to shutdowns due to COVID-19 may be wary of spending money to upgrade their games.

“An app on your phone that transfers money directly to a gaming device requires near-field technology inside the slot machine, or a Bluetooth antenna, or something inside the bill validator,” Rumboltz said. “There are several ways to do this, but all require updating or touching the gaming device. Again, it all depends on the cartridges.”

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Jonathan Michaels, AGA’s vice president of strategic alliances, provided research that could convince gaming company leaders to move forward. He said 57 percent of casino visitors last year said digital or contactless casino payments were important to them because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 59 percent of casino customers said they are less likely to use cash in their daily lives because of concerns about the coronavirus.

The core idea behind digital payment technology was choice. Casino operators believe that customers will continue to use cash. Rumboltz, despite the push toward digital technology, said he believes cash won’t go away until “we become a completely cashless society.”

AGA’s efforts began long before the advent of COVID-19. After the legalization of sports betting in May 2018, commercial casino operators realized that they needed to expand the possibilities of betting on mobile devices.

“After sports betting, we started to see a lot more recognition,” Michaels said. “There was a lot of discussion in the groups about tools to prevent overspending by customers. There were conversations about security, privacy and responsible gaming. There was a lot of interest in the industry.”

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The problem, Michaels said, is that many states have payment laws “all over the place,” with some written 20 years ago, “before online was even conceived.” He added that these principles were developed through consumer research and industry input.

AGA’s #1 principle is to give customers more tools to be responsible. Most digital options allow customers to control their gaming activity and set spending limits.

Digital payment platforms can provide tools to enable customers to bid responsibly. In addition, the technology provides casino operators, regulators and law enforcement agencies with increased transparency in anti-money laundering and monitoring of financial transactions.

Alan Feldman, a distinguished fellow at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, said the technology provides “amazing tools for customers.” However, regulators should require casino operators to “enable the tools” so they can be used properly.

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In addition, digital payments technology can provide data for a variety of research initiatives in areas that analysts have struggled to understand, such as the size of the average transaction.

“In the first two to five years, the data must be submitted for study to an accredited research institution,” Feldman said, saying he was not directly advocating for UNLV. “There is a wealth of data available that gives us clarity on problematic betting patterns and other harmful behaviours.”

Bussmann, the gaming consultant, said state regulators have an opportunity to create a framework that includes adequate financial and consumer protections, including compliance with anti-money laundering requirements set for casinos by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). treasury.

“The leaders in the space will need both operators and regulators

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