- COVID-19 could spread like wildfire through the large amounts of cash transacted at casinos across the country.
- The coronavirus can spread when one comes in contact with surfaces contaminated with cough or sneeze droplets of an infected person.
- Some Las Vegas companies are moving with speed to avail cashless solutions to casino operators to curb the spread of the virus.
- Though slowly coming, a cashless society could be here with us soon.
The high denomination dollars that are up for grabs at casinos across the country could be hotspots for the spread of the coronavirus.
According to a Stanford University School of Medicine professor and researcher, Rob Jackler, the level of risk associated with getting infected with the virus from cash remains unknown.
The main means of COVID-19 spread is through cough or sneeze droplets released into the air by an infected person. However, you can also contract the virus by coming in contact with surfaces.
Jackler said the virus can remain alive on paper for a day or two and three to four days on metal and plastic.
This means it could be time cashless solutions came to casinos. However, no argument can be heard from the Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairwoman, Sandra Morgan, a staunch supporter of introducing cashless systems in the gaming industry.
A leader of a board that reviews technological innovations in the industry, Morgan said she has not seen substantial moves toward cashless solutions lately.
She revealed how public she’d been about her openness to the new application of technology in helping attract more customers. However, she claimed COVID-19 hasn’t increased the need “to address or discuss new technology for cashless wagering.” Morgan added that she has “always been open to discussing it and looking for different ways not only to make gaming and gambling more enjoyable or more accessible.”
Some Companies are Already at It
More than two Las Vegas firms are making good progress toward availing cashless options to casino operators by digitally transferring money.
When casinos were shut down three months ago, Everi Holdings’ CashClub Wallet was already under field-testing. Also, Scientific Games is almost getting the state’s regulatory approval on its Unified Wallet, a product that has already been availed in Florida’s tribal casinos.
The CEO of the gaming division of Scientific Games, Matt Wilson, said cashless solutions came at the forefront of casino operator’s minds due to the pandemic.
On Friday, Wilson said that these operators were spending a lot of money to sanitize their premises. However, when you consider that many hands get on the dollar bill on the gaming floors, he said, a cashless system could be the best way to keep the virus at bay.
Are Cashless Solutions Here to Stay?
Florida-based Grubbrr’s CEO Sam Zietz said he felt a cashless society will be here in our lifetime.
He said there are two reasons for this. It is easier to use technology to track cashless than cash transactions. Therefore, cashless transactions make it easier to manage taxation. Also, cash has been previously associated with criminal activity.
However, Zietz and Wilson feel the shift will be gradual, owing to the presence of some laggard businesses.