The American Gaming Association has released a new framework which focuses on regulatory flexibility to enable digital payments on the casino floor.

The document, entitled Payments Modernization Policy Principles, comes at a time when 57 per cent of those who have visited a casino during the last year have reported that the option for digital or contactless payments on the casino floor is important to them because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Advancing opportunities for digital payments has been one of our top priorities since my first day at the AGA,” said President and CEO Bill Miller. “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.”

The AGA pointed out that enabling payment choice will allow casino customers the option to supplement cash with safe and secure digital payment options on the casino floor.

According to the framework, this not only improves responsible gaming efforts by equipping customers with digital tools to help them monitor their gaming and set limits, but will also provide operators, regulators, and law enforcement increased transparency into matters of anti-money laundering and monitoring of financial transactions.

Last year, the AGA established a working group of members to evaluate the regulatory, processing, and consumer landscape related to expanding payment options on the casino floor.

The Payments Modernization Policy Principles, the product of that collaborative effort, seeks to educate state and tribal regulators who are considering expanding payment choice:

It outlined six key criteria, including the need to equip customers with more tools to wager responsibly. It advocates giving customers payment choice and convenience and ensuring state laws enable a flexible regulatory approach – one that is capable of keeping pace with evolving forms of digital payments.

In addition, customer public health was also identified as a key concern, with the AGA looking to provide customers with confidence in digital payment security and create a uniform regulatory environment for casino operators, suppliers, and regulators. Lastly it makes the call for empowerment of law enforcement to better identify offenders through digital payment analysis.

Recent AGA research found that 59 per cent of past-year casino visitors are less likely to use cash in their everyday lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This translates to customer preferences on the casino floor, as more than half (54 per cent) indicate that they would be very likely to utilize a digital or contactless payment option when they gamble,” said the association.