Physical slot machines are going increasingly cashless; is this simply in line with a general societal trend towards digital payments, or has it been more fundamentally influenced by the rising popularity of online casinos? People are becoming very familiar with cashless systems and it appears that cash may no longer be king. What are the main motivators behind brick-and-mortar casinos following the zeitgeist and trending towards cashless slots and gambling?

The Online Casino Effect

The increasing prevalence of online casinos is indicative of a population that is very comfortable with making digital payments. One of the core reasons for the success of online casinos is the convenience they offer – this is because of the freedom to play from home or on-the-go with mobile. The transparency of online casino systems in terms of payment extends to the gameplay also, with players being immediately aware of a game’s return to player (RTP) and volatility, allowing them to make informed decisions about their game choice.

But the ease of these platforms is also down to the multitude of payment methods. Players enjoy the ease with which digital payments can be made, whether via card or through emerging methods like cryptocurrencies. It, therefore, makes sense that users have an increasing appetite for this level of payment convenience when it comes to physical slot machines.

Traditional slots have often meant ardent players sitting with a bucket-full of coins to put into the machine. This is clearly inconvenient and unwieldy for many people; the example set by the ease of equivalent online casinos has led to a natural transition to cashless physical slot machines that benefit the customer experience.

An Increasingly Cashless Society

Of course, it’s impossible to ignore the effect of a global trend towards an increasingly cashless society. It can bring vast improvements in efficiency to both the consumer and the company as keeping track of digital payments is automated and immediate in comparison to the difficulties involved with tracking physical cash. In turn, this can also help with customer protection as casinos have the ability to restrict and limit the amount of funds gambled to ensure they do not exceed certain amounts.

Canadian casinos are currently making preparations to re-open and they appear to be giving increased emphasis to cashless elements as it allows for less handling of notes. Replicating the cashless elements so prevalent across businesses from cafes to supermarkets to bars certainly seems to be an obvious progression for physical casinos.

Recent technological advancements also go hand-in-hand with these changes as it becomes more affordable and accessible for people and businesses to provide digital payment services. Payments can now be made via mobile phones, wristbands, and watches which makes it increasingly unlikely that customers will be caught in a situation where they are only able to pay with cash.

The longevity and continued popularity of casinos has been driven by the commitment of the industry to keeping up with the times and consumer interests. Although the success of online slots have certainly informed the evolving nature of physical slot machines and their transition towards cashless, the general societal trend towards digital payments has likely been the most fundamental reason for the ongoing changes. Expect the rise of cashless slot machines and the physical casino experience to continue apace.



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Joel Levy