Increased caution about the handling of cash and its (as yet unproven) ability to spread COVID-19, has accelerated the transition from cash to digital payments.
So where does this leave gaming? EGMs continue to operate on cash, with no option currently available to play without it.
Digital gaming has long been a hot topic in the industry. At a recent RSL & Services Club webinar, Cashless or Digital Wallet Gaming – where to now?, some of the industry’s experts presented their organisations’ views on the future of digital gaming and what the regulator is doing to help the industry explore the options.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has accelerated the discussions and the industry stakeholders have come together to explore the challenges of implementing digital gaming. Collaborative work with the regulators, manufacturers and system suppliers is expected to commence soon in a sand box environment where a range of digital options will be trialed.
UTOPIA Gaming Systems General Manager, Alan Townsend, says that “while cash may be declining, it will be around for many years to come.”
“The transition from cash to digital gaming may be inevitable, however the pace at which that change occurs is the challenge. For digital gaming to be widely adopted, it will need to mirror many of the attributes of cash including interoperability, reliability, anonymity and security”.
UTOPIA has been working behind the scenes to prepare for the shift towards digital gaming. This has included redesigning our Global Gaming System to ensure that we are ready to address the challenges of running both cash and digital payments simultaneously.
“Venues have a lot to think about if they are going to get this right,” says Alan. “Apart from user acceptance, ensuring the digital wallets works seamlessly across all devices within the venue as well as moving funds in and out of the wallet and bank accounts present significant challenges. Fortunately, UTOPIA is as a member of the Banktech Group, so we are well placed in terms of integrating gaming systems, devices and payments to help venues deliver a holistic approach.”
The Banktech Group has a wholly owned payment processing business, EFTEX, which processes more than $15bn in ATM and POS payments annually. EFTEX is a member of eftpos Australia and holds an Exchange Settlement Account (ESA) with the Reserve Bank of Australia. This places UTOPIA in a unique position, with expertise in both gaming and payment processing.
So should venues be preparing now for digital gaming? According to Alan, the answer is a cautious yes. “I think venues need to be thinking about who they are going to partner with and can help you deliver a full end to end solution.”
For more information contact Alan Townsend at UTOPIA Gaming Systems on 1800 200 201 or click here.