Nevada Regulators Consider Remote Registration for Cashless Wagering

Nevada Regulators Consider Remote Registration for Cashless Wagering
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The Nevada Gaming Control Board is set to hold a workshop Thursday on letting patrons register remotely for cashless wagering accounts.

Las Vegas-based Sightline Payments is seeking the change for cashless accounts used for payments besides sports betting and “other event wagering,” according to the Control Board meeting agenda.

Sightline initially filed a petition with the board in September 2020 to allow remote registration.

 

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On its website, Sightline says the coronavirus pandemic has created concern over cash “circulating among hundreds of hands on the casino floor.” Cashless payments can be used for slot machines, table games and at sites such as casino gift shops.

“Cashless payments bring casinos more in line with everyday life,” the website states. “Fears over the spread of COVID-19 are leading to broader consumer adoption of mobile-phone payment systems to avoid contact at cash registers.”

If Sightline’s petition is adopted, a patron’s identity could be verified with the use of digital authentication tools, according to Michael K. Morton, a senior policy counsel with the Control Board’s Administration Division.

“This would allow for a licensee to use Sightline’s, or anyone else’s, digital authentication tools to verify a person’s identity, so long as that tool is approved by the board,” Morton told Gambling.com in an email.

In-Person Registration Required

The issue of remote registration for cashless wagering accounts in Nevada is different from the state’s general requirement that gamblers using mobile devices to bet on sporting events must register in person.

Under a state regulation, patrons can download a cellphone sports-betting app and then register the account at a casino. For instance, the William Hill Race and Sports Book website lists casinos statewide where patrons can show up to register their online sports betting account.

The William Hill site lists 28 casinos in the Las Vegas area alone, including megaresorts on the Strip and hotel-casinos downtown. Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment bought William Hill earlier this year.

The Nevada Gaming Commission, which acts on recommendations from the Control Board, has the authority to allow bettors to register mobile sports-betting apps anywhere in the state, Morton told Gambling.com.

However, the commission “has not received any regulatory petition asking for such change,” he said.

 

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Sports Betting’s National Expansion

For years, some Nevada casino operators wanted patrons to come inside to bet rather than wagering on mobile devices from anywhere, including their own homes.

On-site bettors presumably would spend money at restaurants and other amenities at hotel-casinos. Casino sportsbooks also have a long and popular tradition in Nevada, especially during major betting events such as the Super Bowl.

Over time, consumer sports-betting preferences have adapted to new technology, with a mix across the country of on-site and mobile sports betting.

Sports betting picked up steam after a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling opened such wagering to states around the nation. Sports betting now is occurring in 29 states and Washington, D.C., according to the American Gaming Association website. It is legal but not yet active in three more states.

DraftKings Moves Into Las Vegas

With that expansion, traditional casino companies, and online bookmakers such as DraftKings and FanDuel, are competing for customers nationwide with on-site sportsbooks and mobile apps.

DraftKings and FanDuel have gaming licenses pending at the Nevada Gaming Control Board, officials said.

DraftKings also has been active in boosting its general presence in Southern Nevada.

Last year, DraftKings signed a multi-year agreement to sponsor the Center for Gaming Innovation at UNLV’s International Gaming Institute. This agreement allowed DraftKings to open its Gaming Innovation Studio at the university east of the Strip, “furthering the company’s ties to the Las Vegas community,” according to UNLV’s website.

Earlier this year, DraftKings bought VSiN, a sports analysis service. Also known as the Vegas Sports Information Network, VSiN is expanding its reach across the country but is primarily based in two Las Vegas broadcast studios.

One VSiN studio is at the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa on the south end of the Strip. A newer one operates at Circa Resort, an adults-only hotel-casino that opened in downtown Las Vegas late last year.

Circa is the first hotel-casino built from the ground up in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years.

 

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