AGA Advocates Greater Casino Payment Versatility Requirement

A new paper, Payments Modernization Policy Principles, has been released by the American Gaming Association (AGA), which provides a roadmap for regulatory autonomy to allow digital payments on the casino floor.

57Based on an 18-month joint business initiative, the concepts come at a time when most (57 percent) of past-year casino guests say wireless or contactless payment choices on the casino floor are important to them due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AGA claims that having the alternative of payment allows casino consumers to be able to replace cash with convenient and efficient digital payment solutions on the casino floor. This not only strengthens responsible gaming activities by equipping consumers with interactive resources to help them track their gaming and set restrictions, but also offers better accountability for players, regulators and law enforcement in matters of money laundering and financial activity surveillance.

President and CEO Bill Miller explained: “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.

“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.”

Earlier this year, the AGA convened a stakeholders’ working group to examine the financial, manufacturing, and customer environment relevant to expanding casino-floor payment choices. The Payments Modernization Policy Principles, the result of this joint initiative, aims to inform state and territorial regulators who recommend widening the option of payments:

The guidance covers six main considerations, beginning with the need to provide consumers with more wagering resources in a prudent manner. It supports allowing consumers the flexibility and ease of payment, and ensuring that state laws allow for a robust regulatory framework – one that can keep up with emerging ways of digital payments.

It also aims to resolve enhanced public health issues of consumers, have trust in digital payment protection for customers and create a consistent regulatory framework for casino owners, vendors and regulators. Ultimately it calls for law enforcement support to help classify criminals through digital payment research.

The guidelines represent continuing cooperation between the AGA and regulators, card networks, safe gaming and illegal gambling proponents, financial institutions, and other key players in the payment ecosystem.

Nevertheless, wellbeing continues to be one of the most important concerns surrounding payment, with new AGA studies showing that 59 percent of past-year casino guests are less likely to use cash in their everyday lives due to 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 utilise a digital or contactless payment option when they gamble,” the association said.

The AGA noted that it is promoting attempts by regulators, retailers and vendors to implement wireless payments as one of a range of contactless initiatives on the casino floor to improve public safety.