How long will cash retain a clear place in the gaming industry?

How long will cash retain a clear place in the gaming industry?

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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TotallyGaming spoke to Paysafe and MuchBetter about cashless gaming

From a rise in biometric payments to a raft of new cryptocurrencies, new ways to pay are emerging all the time to cater for the expanding digital market.

So, for how long will traditional cash retain a clear place in the gaming industry? We caught up with two of the leading voices in payments to find out…

Neil Erlick, EVP Business Development at Paysafe, said: “Regulation and consumer adoption obscure the timeline on this evolution, but it is certain that ‘cashless’ will become more prevalent over time. We only need to look at the gaming industry’s transformation to date.

“Consider hotspots like Las Vegas – over the last 80 years, gaming has become just one part of the casino experience in Las Vegas, alongside entertainment, cuisine, sightseeing and social appeals. The entire gaming experience is evolving. How people pay is just one element of that which we can expect to develop over the coming years.

“Traditional cash, coins and notes are quick, private, and usually easily authenticated, so for now they still have a clear place in the gaming industry. But this doesn’t necessarily pose an obstacle to the rise of new forms of digital cash which are on the rise.

“Rather than cash and digital competing with each other, the sweet spot is often how cash is merging with digital formats - demonstrated by the rise of alternative payment methods, including voucher-based systems and digital wallets. Ultimately, gaming will become a more cashless industry, but cash will certainly evolve in order to enhance the overall payment experience.”

Jens Bader, MuchBetter Co-Founder, commented: “The answer to this question depends on terminology. In the physical gaming industry, cash is and will always be king. It is carried by the vast majority of people entering betting shops and it is foolish to think it will be replaced anytime soon.

“If you count wallets, cards and bank transfers under the umbrella of ‘cash’ and are asking if this will be replaced by cryptocurrencies, this is also an emphatic no. We’re lightyears away from cryptocurrencies replacing cash and traditional account-based services in gaming.

“However, if you’re talking about its position in iGaming, that’s an interesting issue because online operators have always had a love/hate relationship with pure hard cash. Players who are motivated to use cash online are an intriguing segment for operators, since they represent risk and reward in equal measure. Some people like cash because it offers anonymity and can help disguise their activity, and these are naturally high-risk users. Cash is also difficult to control and expensive to collect.

“On the other hand, cash customers are the biggest market in the world, since it is a universal means of payment. In countries like Germany and Greece, cash is the default means of payment, with cards more commonly used to make ATM withdrawals than make direct payments. Furthermore, accepting cash is essential for operators hoping to succeed in growth markets like Africa and the Middle East, where banking options may be more limited than in the west.”

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