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Cashless gaming and digital payments are subjects for the casino industry to be by far more opened to.

Chris Justice, who oversees the gaming division for Georgia-based Global Payments, admits that the casino portion of the cashless transaction and payment processing business is still a relatively small slice of the overall pie.

But the gaming industry, he said, is rapidly becoming far more open to the idea of digital financial transactions.

During an investors call hosted by Truist Securities last week, Justice said Global Payments’ initial installation of a mobile wallet inside the Downstream Casino in Quapaw, Oklahoma this summer is quickly gaining users. Justice told Truist Securities gaming analyst Barry Jonas the company is seeing “meaningful funding growth and player adoption” at the tribal casino.

In a research note following the call, Jonas said it was too early to comprehensively measure any market upside with the mobile wallet, which allows customers to fund electronic gaming play throughout the casino.

“Like most vendors, Global Payments is hesitant to quantify the total addressable market or general upside from cashless,” Jonas wrote. “Mr. Justice noted he expects cashless will increase the size of the pie with any cannibalization of traditional kiosk/cage transactions more than offset by increased play levels and operational efficiencies.”

The American Gaming Association has advocated since 2019 for the casino industry to adopt cashless or digital payment solutions to help modernize the industry. In the past year, spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, several changes have already taken place.

Last week, Southern California’s Morongo Casino and Resort said it would introduce a new cashless wagering product early next year that will provide slot players with gambling markers. The platform, which runs through Morongo’s casino management system, is not a mobile wallet, since the funds rely on credit provided by the property.

Regulators in Nevada and Pennsylvania this year approved new rules to permit digital payments in their casinos, and New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa are expected to follow suit. Tribal casinos, such as Seminole Hard Rock in Florida and Southern California’s San Manuel, are already using digital payment technologies.

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