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Cashless gambling a way of the future

Cashless gaming is seen as the next significant technology trend to hit the gaming floors, but experts believe there will still be work to ensure that regulators and other industry stakeholders can get on board.

Discussions around the future of a cashless society was brought up a number of times during the first day of the Australasian Gaming Expo, held at the Sydney International Convention Center on Tuesday. 

During the day’s panel discussions, a number of panelists referred to comments made by Reserve Bank of Australia’s Philip Lowe, last November, who said that cash is likely to become a niche product in the future. 

While talk of cashless payments has been just talk for many years, Lowe said there now appears to have been a tipping point.

Around the turn of the decade, Australians went to an ATM, on average, around 40 times per year. Now, they go around 25 times a year and the downward trend is likely to continue.

Keynote speaker Chris Riddell, an award-winning futurist, during the first session of the day, outlined the possibility of a frictionless retail experience, with no cash and no checkouts. In an Amazon concept video, a consumer was seen simply plucking items off the grocery shelves without the need of a “check out” or even removing their wallet. 

This trend is seen to be on the way for casinos, where it presents significant opportunities for customer service, but also creates challenges for responsible gaming by allowing seamless and fast access to cash.

“Cashless gambling is undoubtedly an advantage - but what are you going to do for harm minimization?” said Dr. Sally Gainsbury, who has more than 15 years' experience conducting gambling research.

On the upside, she said cashless does have the ability to give activity statements back to the player, which is overall a positive from a responsible gaming perspective.

Adrian Halpenny, senior vice president of the Australian and Asian divisions for Scientific Games, also said cashless is coming. He further said that he expects an increased use of technologies, such as facial recognition to aid with self-exclusion, will help encourage responsible gaming in a cashless environment.

On a product innovation front, Halpenny also touched on tactile touch and augmented reality as the next innovations that are being looked at by manufacturers. 

“It’s all revolving around entertainment and delivery of service,” he said. 

AGE’s seminar program is organised by Asia Gaming Brief. 

Asia Gaming Brief is a news and intelligence service providing up to date market information for worldwide executives on relevant gaming issues in Asia.

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