The casino industry in America wants gambling regulators to make it easier to adopt Apple Pay and other cashless payment transactions on the casino floor, citing a desire to help customers avoid handling money during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
In a report released Tuesday, the American Gaming Association, the gambling industry’s national trade group, called on regulators in states where gambling is allowed to update their rules or laws to integrate cashless options for gamblers.
The push follows an 18-month study of the issue by both commercial and tribal casinos, and equipment suppliers to try to pave the way for cashless transactions on a wider basis.
Presently, a small number of casinos use such payments, which include debit or credit cards, as well as apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. Wider acceptance of these options has long been a goal of the gambling industry.
“Advancing opportunities for digital payments has been one of our top priorities since my first day at the AGA,” said Bill Miller, the gambling group’s president and CEO. “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.”
Health officials say the coronavirus can survive on paper currency, but that risk is low compared to person-to-person spread, which is the main way people get infected. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says using touchless payment methods is a good idea where possible.
MacDailyNews Take: A silver lining for Apple Pay is the least the COVID-19 cloud could offer.