After the approval of Sightline Payments’ proposal presented before the Nevada Gaming Commission to remotely verify cashless casino wagering accounts, Yogonet International spoke with the company’s Chief Legal Officer, Jennifer Carleton, who provided the publication with an update on its status, the following steps to its implementation, and its effect in other jurisdictions that remain unregulated in this respect.
When asked about the motion’s current status, Carleton stated that a few casinos in Nevada and specifically in Las Vegas, such as Resorts World, are finalizing implementation in order to launch the remote verification registration method “in a few weeks”.
“The methodology itself is not new”, Carleton underscored when referring to the system. “But bringing it to the casino floor and putting it as part of an account wagering for cashless on the casino floor is the new step”.
“The following natural move is to implement the software that has been run in Nevada for some time in your application for players to utilize when they’re cashless gaming on the casino floor. So that’s really the last piece that needs to fall into place”, she explained.
Since the project was approved in Nevada, Sightline has been asked by a number of state regulators outside of the state to meet and talk about payments technologies and specifically about how cashless is being implemented.
“We’ve been working with states and state regulators to talk about how Nevada approaches regulation and, as other states come online, they can look at the Gold Standard and how to implement cashless technology on their casino floors”.
Carleton also pointed out there is a significant demand from players for cashless. “If you think about other types of industry, especially retail, cashless has become very common. People don’t think about having to have cash and, in some cases, even having a debit or credit card in their wallet. They can use their phone to pay for a lot of things, and casinos seem to be the logical next step. We are a technology-heavy industry and there’s certainly no reason why we shouldn’t be able to create a seamless patron experience on the casino floor”.
But breakthrough technologies do not come alone. As 3.0 technologies continue to grow in the gaming industry as well, with cryptocurrencies and the metaverse at the top of the ranks, Sightline believes that education is the cornerstone for real innovation.
“Educating, working with our operators, primarily understanding from them where the player demand is and then working with regulators to assist them in understanding cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFTs. For a lot of people this type of technology can be very confusing. Some patrons demand it, and others are very wary of it”.
Carleton compared this trend to the beginnings of online gaming. “Initially, a lot of patrons were very skeptical. A lot of states were very skeptical. But now as we move into all of the sports betting and everything that is happening in the various states, people are getting a lot more comfortable with being able to purchase and play online and have that entertainment online. Crypto is very similar, as people get used to it, as people begin to understand it a little bit more they’re going to want to participate”.
Sightline seeks to transform traditional casino floors into fully cashless ecosystems, with cryptocurrency being just one feature of such metamorphosis. One of the company’s latest moves involved the implementation of its solutions at cashless casino Resorts World, in partnership with Mastercard.
“We have nearly 50 partners across payments, gaming systems, point of sale platforms, and we’re always looking for ways in which we can enhance customer experience”, Carleton explained. “Being still one of the only companies that really sits at the epicenter or the crossroads between gaming and payments, and understanding this industry so well has really enabled us to be able to implement those solutions seamlessly. We’re ideally positioned because we’ve been in this space for a long period of time to be able to help companies that are looking to come into this space now”.
“In the United States, a lot of players in banking did not want to go near gaming. We’re still classified as a high risk industry in banking terms. But that obviously has changed a lot in terms of the ability for banking to want to come into gaming and to participate”, she stated. “And they have the depth of expertise. They have the knowledge and banking partnering with us to bring that depth of expertise with finance and gaming is really what we bring to the table”.
Another company segment is the development of applications for casino operators. Through its JOINGO brand, Sightline has been able not only to provide its payment solutions but also to deliver its mobile loyalty platform, which has recently launched in tandem with IGT at Indigo Sky Casino Resorts in Oklahoma.
“For cashless, if you're developing the app that's part of the cashless solution, then clearly you're able to have a seamless customer experience, similarly with loyalty. Now, because we have this ability, we develop these apps on behalf of operators to have that ability to create an omni channel experience for the customer. If the payments portion is part of that, then with our solution, that player can use that account anywhere on the property. When we say omni channel, that's what we mean, because it is every aspect of the resort”.
Indigo Sky Casino floor.
For 2022, the company intends to keep investing in innovation, with a big focus on product and enhancing functionalities, and to humanize and personalize the casino experience even more. “Our goal is to solve the challenges in gaming for payments, but to really make sure that our operators and our patrons are able to talk as if they were coming out of the casino floor, like in the old days of Vegas, where the floor manager knew the patron’s name and knew what kind of drink they liked and what kind of game they like to play. Why can’t we have that experience online? That's our hope, to make that experience on both the operator side and on the patrons side as seamless as possible”.