Casinos go Cashless due to COVID; Gambling crypto-currency sector values more than $150 Million

imagesource:casino.org
imagesource:casino.org

What is casino without cash?

Well, think of it this way-would there have been Ocean’s series had there been no cash involved in gambling sector? No George Clooney, no Brad Pitt!!

No James Bond movies! Imagine the horror.

Casino has been about cash- loads of cash on tables- always! One cannot think of the thrill involved in a game without cash being involved in the game. The mere thought of leaving the table with cash in hands keeps the player going for longer hours. Cash has always had the pleasure to wear the crown- be it on any side- player’s or houses’.

Sadly, this scenario is quickly changing. Gambling sector was yet to be revolutionized with sweeping changes without losing the essence of the game. But this change seems to have catalyzed because of COVID-19 pandemic.

Casinos are turning cashless in order to avoid the spread of the virus and are rapidly storing their ledgers in form of crypto currencies. Slots machines had stopped using coins for over a decade now and table games had soon to follow but the pandemic might have forced the process to speed up. The concerns of safety and hygiene have only heightened since then.

While in many parts of United States, ATM machines are not yielding cash altogether, in some places, higher transaction cost per withdrawal has been imposed. As first in US, Nevada Gaming Commission approved cashless payment and the Gaming Control Board is still testing all aspects related to cashless wagering system.

Along with online transactions and payments via Debit and Credit cards, Bitcoins have also assumed great importance. Crypto-currencies created specifically for the gambling sector now have a combined value in excess of $150m, according to research from CryptoGamblingNews.com. According to previous research from the CryptoGamblingNews.com team, more than 30,000 customers play at blockchain casinos each week.

American Gaming Association’s CEO, Bill Miller stated that, “Any customers uneasy about using cash on the gaming floor due to health or safety concerns should have an alternate payment option available to them. Casinos are really looking for some modernization in the industry that for too long has been almost entirely reliant on cash”

“It’s figuring out how to make the casino floor approachable to new generations of people that don’t use cash at all”, Miller added.

Sightline’s founder and CEO Kirk Sanford in an interview with CNBC stated, “Winnings can be immediately cashed out and used for spending, both on-premise at the casino or off-premise, everywhere that accepts Discover cards. It removes one more obstacle to the hygienic running of a gaming floor and reduces costs for constant cleaning”.

However, there are several risks involved in going for cashless wagering system such as problem gambling, addiction due to ease of payment, risk of fraud and theft, money laundering, data mining, phishing, job losses due to reduction in requirements of staff etc.

While some of the industry experts disregard these concerns calling them problems of ancient ages and stating that these problems no longer exist in modern areas. Others are still reluctant to speed up the process so quickly and rule out casino with cash altogether.

As of now, things are under transition and we will have to wait and watch, at which direction, things are headed.

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