The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2022, presented by the American Gaming Association (AGA), returned to Las Vegas this past week for a live in-person event, highlighting where the gaming industry currently is and the top trends to follow. Here are three key takeaways from the event.
Cashless is King
No topic dominated conversations on the G2E agenda more than cashless gaming. Several panels centered on the topic and it was also raised in related subjects such as digital wallets, know your customer rules and other regulatory concerns.
As transactions steadily move toward digital payments in nearly all areas of commerce in the U.S., the casino industry has generally been a bit slower to adapt. Although the industry has the TITO (ticket-in-ticket-out) system, which offers a form of cashless gaming, industry leaders across the panels emphasize the need for continued innovation, particularly when consumers are comparing their payment experience in a land-based setting to their online experience. Moreover, this comparison isn’t just gaming to gaming, but rather across industries.
Cashless is touted as being able to solve the majority of land-based gaming concerns, even ones that are not directly related to a transaction. When discussing the top casino customer complaints, security is always a major issue. Everyone is apprehensive when they win a large amount of cash, and must venture out of the gaming floor. A true cashless gaming experience would help alleviate such concerns. It would also provide a more convenient and efficient gaming experience for the consumer. Not having to deal with cash makes for a more seamless experience.
On the operator side, there are just as many benefits, including increased player loyalty, increased play frequency and cost and time savings.
While there’s no real consensus on how many casinos will have adopted cashless gaming in the next few years, Tim Cotton, IT Audit Manager at the National Indian Gaming Commission, was confident that by 2025, 60% of tribal casinos will be cashless.
Data Protection and Cybersecurity are Top Concerns
Online and land-based gaming operations collect a lot of information on their players, and consumers want to know their data is safe no matter the industry. With so many data breach announcements over the years, the industry has also clearly taken note that this is another area that must be enhanced.
Earlier this year, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement adopted cybersecurity regulations that now require all online gaming and sports-betting operators to deploy multi-factor authentication for online accounts. Nevada is also considering new standards that, once formally adopted, will encourage licensees to ensure their cybersecurity measures are as robust as possible.
Operators cannot outsource liability if a data breach were to occur. That is why vetting potential suppliers for their compliance with data protection and cybersecurity is just as critical. Having guidance from regulators and taking considerations from other industries will help guide gaming operators and suppliers to ensure safe management of personal information.
Education is More Important than Ever
Whether it’s for the consumers, the regulators, or even the operators, education must be a part of the business plan. As innovation increases and new technologies emerge, taking the time to educate and demonstrate new opportunities will help increase adoption.
Education was another topic closely tied to digital payments and the technology surrounding it. The emphasis on helping regulators understand new use cases or new tech is critical for approval. Regulators should be seen as a partner to operators and service providers alike. Their goal is to help advance the industry by ensuring innovation isn’t being stifled, but that it is progressing in a safe and responsible manner.
It also cannot be assumed that a consumer will know the benefit, or even the existence, of a new technology. Consideration must be given to help them understand how to use the technology and the reasons why they should adopt it.
As noted above, learning from other industries will also help to create a more efficient, safe and tech savvy gaming experience for everyone.
If you are interested in learning more about the U.S. gaming market and about what Trustly can do for your business, continue the conversation with one of our gaming and payments experts.
Also, be sure to stay tuned to the Trustly blog for more regulatory updates!