Changing casino rules would allow cashless gambling without in-person identity verification

Nevada regulators are considering changing the rules to allow casino customers to sign up for cashless payments on wagers on table games, slots, and hotel purchases without physically presenting a coin. identity. The change would not apply to betting on sporting events or races.

Current law allows customers to set up and fund cashless betting accounts remotely, but they must come in person to verify their identity with a casino employee.

The proposed change would allow a customer to complete the process, including identity verification, on an app and start spending as soon as they enter the casino.

“We already allow exactly the same for an online transaction but do not allow this in the terrestrial world where the player must enter the casino …”, complained Thursday the member of the Gaming Control Board Philip Katsaros during ‘a workshop on measurement.

The American Gaming Association says eight states, including Nevada, currently allow mobile wallets.

“Cashless payments bring casinos closer to everyday life,” says the website of Sightline Payments, a digital commerce platform that submitted a petition to gaming regulators in September 2020 at the height of the pandemic to allow the remote verification of in-house identity documents. patrons. “Fears about the spread of COVID-19 are leading to wider consumer adoption of mobile phone payment systems to avoid contact at cash registers. “

“Cashless transactions are rapidly replacing traditional cash payment methods and the conversion has been further accelerated by the global pandemic,” says a document submitted to regulators by Sightline. “Gamers are now accustomed to cashless transactions outside of the game in their day-to-day lives, seeking contactless transactions due to social distancing and health concerns. … The ability for a player to set up a remote betting account is an essential part of this technological evolution. ”

Joe Pappano, CEO of Sightline, told members of the Supervisory Board of a bottleneck for customers who signed up for cashless bets at the opening of Resort World and had to queue for control identity.

“A casino employee must personally verify the identity of the customer before they can fund a gaming account,” he said.

The proposed change would allow customers to upload ID through a kiosk or mobile phone and have it verified without human interaction.

Operators would be able to register a customer and verify the uploaded ID remotely, as players with interactive online betting accounts are currently allowed.

Reid Rubenstein Bogatz attorney Marc Rubenstien, representing Station Casinos, submitted a letter to the board of directors saying that federal anti-money laundering laws “require physical casinos to use documentary methods of identity verification to gambling on the spot “. He said the proposed amendment is “an invitation to approve a regulatory change that would violate federal law.”

But lawyer Jennifer Carleton, representing Sightline, said the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) “has come out and has recognized that this type of amendment is necessary, appropriate and consistent with their guidelines.”

“It makes good sense to say that you can sit in your living room and check who you are from a distance, but you can’t do that in a casino. And is this going to somehow violate federal law? Carleton asked rhetorically.

“Very well said,” sounded Katsaros, who made it clear his support for the rule change.

“I sat here very patiently listening to a presentation that totally misled you,” said Rubenstein, now that federal law prohibits remote identity verification for “a land wagering account.”

“Why are there no cannabis companies related to casinos. I mean, we all sort of look at it and roll our eyes, don’t we? ” He asked. “But the fact remains, it’s the law and the Gaming Policy Committee has been very clear that as long as it’s the law, we’re not going down that rabbit hole, are we. It is directly analogous as long as federal law still requires a terrestrial examination.

“We don’t all roll our eyes on this,” Katsaros said. “I can at least speak for myself.”

Rubenstein did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether Station Casinos supports the measure outside of legal issues.

Cashless gaming is seen to be beneficial for operators, increasing a seamless gaming experience. Its effects on clients are still unknown.

The board decided to take the matter to a regular hearing.

Earlier today, the new Chair of the Gaming Commission, Jennifer Togliatti, chaired its first meeting. It was the second meeting as commissioner of former state senator Ben Kieckhefer, who was also recently appointed to the commission by Governor Steve Sisolak.


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