Customers Increasingly Seek New Payment Options in Light of COVID-19
The American Gaming Association (AGA) released new Payments Modernization Policy Principles, reflective of an 18-month, collaborative industry effort, that provide a framework for regulatory flexibility allowing digital payments on the casino floor. The principles come at a time when the majority (57%) of past-year casino visitors report the option for digital or contactless payments on the casino floor is important to them because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enabling payment choice allows casino customers the ability to supplement cash with safe and secure digital payment options on the casino floor. This not only improves responsible gaming efforts by equipping customers with digital tools to help them monitor their gaming and set limits, but also provides operators, regulators, and law enforcement increased transparency into matters of anti-money laundering and monitoring of financial transactions.
“Advancing opportunities for digital payments has been one of our top priorities since my first day at the AGA. It aligns with gaming’s role as a modern, 21st century industry and bolsters our already rigorous regulatory and responsible gaming measures,” said Bill Miller, AGA president and CEO. “The COVID-19 pandemic made it all the more important to advance our efforts to provide customers with the payment choice they are more comfortable with and have increasingly come to expect in their daily lives.”
Early last year, the AGA convened a working group of members to evaluate the regulatory, processing, and consumer landscape related to expanding payment options on the casino floor. The Payments Modernization Policy Principles, the product of that collaborative effort, seek to educate state and tribal regulators who are considering expanding payment choice:
- Equip customers with more tools to wager responsibly.
- Give customers payment choice and convenience.
- Ensure state laws enable a flexible regulatory approach, capable of keeping pace with evolving forms of digital payments.
- Address heightened customer public health concerns.
- Provide customers confidence in digital payment security.
- Create a uniform regulatory environment for casino operators, suppliers, and regulators.
- Empower law enforcement to better identify offenders through digital payment analysis.
The principles reflect the AGA’s ongoing coordination with regulators, card networks, responsible gaming and problem gambling advocates, financial institutions, and other key players in the payments ecosystem.
Recent AGA research found that 59 percent of past-year casino visitors are less likely to use cash in their everyday lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This translates to customer preferences on the casino floor, as more than half (54%) indicate that they would be very likely to utilize a digital or contactless payment option when they gamble.
The AGA is supporting regulator, operator, and supplier efforts to introduce digital payments as part of a number of contactless measures to promote public health on the casino floor.
More information on the AGA’s payments modernization efforts and the full policy principles are available here.