Californian casino adds cashless gaming technology

By Mia Chapman Updated
Credit card gambling ban meets opposition from industry group

A Californian gaming destination has launched a cashless wagering program, calling the move historic.

Casino Beats reports Morongo Casino Resort and Spa has partnered with Marker Trax, which will run through the Konami Gaming’s Synkros casino management system, for a debut that Morongo says will make it the nation’s first tribal casino to offer cashless casino poker machines.

The aim is to allow guests to conveniently and securely apply, get approved and begin using their digital market, all in under five minutes, and electronically, rather than retrieving cash.

Those enrolled in a PIN-protected Synkros cashless wagering account can use their Marker Trax credit line to play electronically on any machine in the casino.

“We’re excited to be working with Marker Trax to introduce cashless wagering markers to our guests,” chief operating officer of Morongo Casino Richard St Jean said.

“The convenience and ease of Marker Trax will be a huge bonus for our players and underscores Morongo’s history of embracing state-of-the-art technology to enhance our gaming experience.

With Marker Trax, our guests can be approved for a gaming line and at the machine in minutes.”

Marker Trax will offer Morongo access to its players’ data analytics and marker tracking, with the information able to be accessed from any machine on the property.

When players wish to withdraw from their cashless wagering accounts, the system, along with Synkros, settles any outstanding balance prior to payout.

“Morongo guests will be the first outside Nevada to enjoy Marker Trax cashless slot markers, thanks to the leadership of Richard St Jean and his team, Marker Trax’s strong launch success, and Synkros’ robust core environment,” executive vice president and chief operating officer at Konami Gaming Tom Jingoli said.

“Konami’s Synkros casino management system is designed with the agility, data architecture and integration capabilities to help deliver these types of collaborative tech opportunities to players and properties.”

Marker Trax is a patented cashless wagering technology that allows casinos to digitally and securely issue funds, with the process digitally monitored through the casino management system.

Prior to signing up for Marker Trax, guests must first enrol in Morongo’s loyalty program.

“We’re looking forward to a successful launch at Morongo,” chief operating officer of Market Trax Charlie Skinner said.

“The technology behind the product is truly unmatched by any other product in the casino industry today and we could not be happier to be launching with the team at Morongo.”

Cashless casino payment methods are few in number

The American Gaming Association has released a report that providers a framework for regulatory flexibility allowing digital payments on the casino floor. 

Yogonet reported in June that according to the AGA, enabling payment choice allows casino customers the ability to supplement cash with safe and secure digital payment options on the casino floor.

This not only improves responsible gaming efforts by equipping customers with digital tools to help them monitor their gaming and set limits, but also provides operators, regulators and law enforcement increased transparency into matters of anti-money laundering and monitoring of financial transactions.

In early 2019, the AGA convened a working group of members to evaluate the regulatory, processing and consumer landscape related to expanding payment options on the casino floor.

The Payments Modernisation Policy Principles, the product of that collaborative effort, seek to educate state and tribal regulators who are considering expanding payment choice.

It included a number of points including the ability to equip customers with more tools to wager responsibly, give customers payment choice and convenience, ensure state laws enable a flexible regulatory approach and address heightened public health concerns.

Recent AGA research found that 59 per cent of past year casino visitors are less likely to use cash in their everyday lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This translates to customer preferences on the casino floor, as 54 per cent indicate that would be very likely to utilise a digital or contactless payment option when they gamble.

Presently, a small number of casinos use such payments, which include debit or credit cards, as well as apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal.

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