Cashless payment systems have been in the works for casinos for quite some time. For years, operators across the US have wanted a cashless option as players are more apt to use a mobile device than a credit card, and especially cash. Since last year, efforts to provide a cashless option have ramped up, especially after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Players do not want to handle cash as it could spread germs, so having a cashless option is preferred. This year, operators are preparing to or have already launched options. The Blue Chip Casino in Indiana is the latest to launch a cashless option, providing players with the option to use digital cash directly via slot machines.
Boyd Gaming, the owner of the Blue Chip Casino, has teamed up with Sightline Payments and Aristocrat Technologies to provide a cashless payment method for gaming. The casino is located in Michigan City, Indiana and now features a digital cashless ecosystem, ready for paying in a variety of ways.
Consumers at the Blue Chip can load funds from a personal account to their digital wallet. The funds can then be used for wagering on the slot machines of the casino. Any funds left on the slot machine can then be transferred back to the Digital Wallet when done.
In the future, the payment solution will be able to offer payments on table games and dining. Other amenities will be added as well. Boyd Gaming Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Blake Rampmaier, commented on the solution, stating the company is proud to introduce a solution that was designed from the ground up to give guests an unmatched experience with cashless technology.
Over the next few months, Boyd Gaming has plans to expand the capabilities of the solution nationwide. The ecosystem would be added to all patron-facing touchpoints. This of course will be pending approvals from regulators.
Consumers Want Digital Payments
As mentioned, consumers have a desire to use digital payment methods with transactions. Mobile usage is becoming more prevalent in a variety of ways and with cashless payments, it provides a more streamlined way to pay for items and services.
According to the American Gaming Association, a recent study showed that consumers have a particular desire to use digital payment options based on concerns regarding the pandemic. A total of 59% of casino visitors from the past year are less likely to use cash in general due to the threat of the virus.
A total of 57% of those surveyed said they would rather have a digital or contactless payment option at a casino so they do not have to use cash during the pandemic. It will be interesting to see if players take advantage of this option at the Blue Chip. Will most of the slot gaming take place via this digital method? Will the operator be able to launch the service soon for other areas like table games?
We shall see just how successful Blue Chip and who knows, this might be the start of a wave of cashless payment options in the gambling industry across the United States!