Most of us have become accustomed to swiping a credit card or tapping our phone to make a purchase – whether at the grocery store or the gas station. Roughly 29% of U.S. adults say they don’t use cash to make purchases during a typical week, and some businesses are beginning to experiment with becoming totally cashless. The reasons to go cashless are varied, from speeding up lines to reducing the risk of robbery. The lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also accelerated the transition for many businesses as they look to minimize hand-to-hand contact and manage coin shortages. So it should come as no surprise that casinos are eyeing cashless as an alternative to cashiers and ATMs.
While the idea of a cashless casino isn’t new, only in the last five years has the technology advanced enough that a wide range of vendors have marketed cashless tools such as digital wallets to make the change more widespread. As of 2023, ten states – Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – along with tribal operators in four states – California, Connecticut, Florida, and Oklahoma – have adopted cashless and digital payment options for commercial and tribal casinos. And many industry leaders predict that number will continue to climb.
So how can casino operators ensure a smooth transition to cashless transactions? Keep reading for our four tips – from implementation to system integration – on going cashless.
4 Ways Casinos Can Seamlessly Go Cashless
1. Build on existing systems. Brick-and-mortar casinos are a network of many existing technologies, from payment to customer management systems. A complete overhaul of these technologies to implement cashless transactions would be costly and require in-depth planning and oversight to ensure everything and running correctly. To mitigate these types of cost and time constraints, operators should consider finding a new system that can seamlessly integrate into existing systems. For example, there are modular solutions that allow you to build on your existing systems, such as picking a payment processor and providing a mobile app that can connect to any slot machine.
These incremental solutions can allow operators to integrate new systems sooner (within 100 days with Acres’ Cashless Casino!) and gradually ease into cashless systems, giving customers and staff time to adapt to a technological shift.
2. Use customized solutions. While cashless may be newer on the casino floor, the technology has already been in use in other parts of casinos, from the front desk to restaurants. So it can be tempting to attempt to use the same technology and hardware throughout the casino floor since it’s already in use and familiar to staff and players. However, a slot machine can’t use the same cashless technology as the front desk of a hotel. Given the high volume of play on a slot machine, the technology must work reliably and securely without staff nearby to monitor or troubleshoot. So it’s essential that operators choose a cashless system that specializes in games and machines on the casino floor. Look for an experienced supplier familiar with casino operations to ensure they know the ins and outs of the current system and specific needs for land-based casinos.
3. Find an efficient system. It’s a no-brainer that it’s important to find a cashless system that’s efficient – meaning that it’s reliable, secure, easily updated, and dependable – especially in a high-demand, high-traffic environment like the casino floor. An efficient system means easy implementation and less worrying and maintenance down the line.
When choosing a cashless system, look for a supplier with experience in developing unattended cashless systems and who provides customer service and support to get up and running and resolve any issues in the future. Additionally, operators should look for suppliers that proactively address issues through updates and other means, solving problems before they happen. The more reliable and efficient a system is, the more quickly operators will see a return on their investment.
4. Choose Acres’ Cashless Casino. The last tip on our list meets all of the above criteria for a seamless transition to cashless. Cashless Casino is the quickest, easiest, and most cost-effective path to implementing cashless gaming at any casino. Our technology is the industry’s only solution capable of processing both real-time gaming data and conducting cashless transfers to and from any slot machine or table game. Even better, Cashless Casino works on any slot machine or table game, including those connected to casino management systems from Aristocrat, IGT, Konami, and Light & Wonder.
Deploying the application is simple, and operators can be cashless in 100 days. Operators pick a payment processor and provide a mobile app, which becomes the user interface. From there, players use the mobile app to virtually “card in” and start a rated play session. During play, point balances accrue in real-time, and players are incentivized to continue playing when a new tier status is approaching. Cashless Casino also allows operators to transition away from physical player cards, kiosks, and direct mail, all of which are quickly being abandoned by other industries. It also has the added benefits of maximizing operating efficiency and driving a better overall player experience.
Going Cashless Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
There’s no doubt that cashless is the future and something that more and more customers are coming to expect. And while cash isn’t going anywhere, casinos must embrace this technology to stay competitive and meet the expectations of the next generation of players. And while it may seem like a daunting task to implement, it doesn’t have to be. If operators pick the right technology that builds on existing systems, is customized to casino games, and is efficient, the transition can be a smooth one. And going with Acres technology can make the switch even easier with our best-of-breed cashless gaming and loyalty solution.
To learn more about Cashless Casino, schedule a time to talk!