The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced three PA casinos are experimenting with cashless gaming processes for customers and told PlayPennsylvania the benefits.
Casinos are one of the only establishments that are still strictly cash intensive. Customers must carry cash or access it inside the casino to play slot machines, table games or poker.
To implement cashless options, PA casinos must get approval from the PGCB and institute a 30-day test trial.
Recent examples of Pennsylvania casinos going cashless
Three PA casinos are experimenting with cashless ways to game.
Parx Casino Shippensburg’s digital wallet
Parx Casino Shippensburg made headlines when it opened in February as a second Parx facility. Now, the Shippensburg location is introducing a new cashless system for slot players.
A licensed payment processor is able to transfer funds from a slot machine to a bettor’s digital wallet. The digital wallet integrates with the Parx reward mobile app.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia’s cashless credit system
Rivers Casino Philadelphia just completed a 30-day test period of a casino credit system for slot players. It does not involve the traditional countercheck to transfer the funds requested by the customer. A cashless funds transfer occurs electronically to increase the balance in the customer’s electronic wallet by the amount of the requested funds.
The customer can then download funds from their electronic wallet as wagering credits. Any customer winnings are automatically applied to any existing balance on the credit line. A customer does not take home winnings unless they exceed the approved credit line.
A player must disclose certain credit information to be able to gamble on a line of credit. A casino executive must approve the application.
Valley Forge Casino’s table game voucher
Valley Forge Casino started a 30-day trial featuring a table game voucher system. Customers can bring their slot machine cash-out vouchers to a table game and exchange them for gaming chips.
Pros of cashless gaming options for PA casino customers
There are many pros for cashless gaming options for customers and the casino. A main one is customers would not have to worry about carrying large sums of cash while gaming.
“You don’t run the risk of losing your money. A person can get up from a chair playing a slot and drop money on the floor and not even know it,” PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole told PlayPennsylvania. “Cashless solutions eliminate having extra cash in your pockets.”
The ease of which customers can play casino games cashless makes the idea a no-brainer. O’Toole equated the scenario to customers using their phones to pay for coffee at a local store. Customers would not have to insert currency into the bill acceptor on the slot machine. Instead, the money is tied to the app through a customer’s phone.
The PGCB is an advocate of, and also regulates, cashless ways to game at PA casinos.
“We think there are certain applications of cashless technology that make your trip to the casino safer and more convenient,” O’Toole said.
How PA casinos go about implementing cashless options
Pennsylvania casinos cannot simply implement cashless options for customers. They must go through the PGCB first for approval. O’Toole told PlayPennsylvania the process casinos must follow:
- Submit written details to the PGCB of how the system works
- PGCB’s gaming lab tests technology
- 30-day test period for casinos
In addition, casino employees must be trained on the new technology. During the test period, the PGCB monitors any irregularities and makes sure the system is in compliance.
“If everything goes smooth in those 30 days, then the casino is given our approval to continue the process on a more permanent basis,” O’Toole explained.
O’Toole and PGCB Director of Communications, Doug Harbach, are not sure how far cashless gaming can go, however, the competition within the jurisdiction will take care of itself. Harbach said:
“Once that becomes a way in which players want to utilize their submission of money to gamble, more and more casino operators are going to implement this.”