The Australian casino company Crown Resorts has revealed that a mechanism for cashless chip purchases at its gaming tables is being tested. The announcement triggered controversial reactions among gambling addiction groups and gambling charities that have shared they expect such a move to result in problem gambling rates’ surge.
As Western Australian 6PR radio station reported yesterday, the Crown Perth casino has unveiled plans to start a test-run of an EFTPOS system (an abbreviation that stands for an “electronic funds transfer at point of sale”). The casino operator has shared that the trial is set to take place at a small number of gaming tables in its Perth casino venue. The tests are scheduled to start on July 27th.
The trial, as part of which customers of the Crown Perth casino will be able to purchase chips at some of the venue’s gaming tables by using their debit card, has been given the green light by the Gaming & Wagering Commission. The casino and gambling operator said exclusively for the 6PR radio that the move has been initiated by a shift toward the increased use of cashless payment methods in the community in recent years, and especially at the time of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Cashless Transactions With Credit Cards Will Not Be Permitted, Crown Perth Says
As mentioned above, the trial will allow casino customers to purchase chips directly with their debit cards without leaving the table. Crown Perth casino, however, shared that patrons would not be able to purchase chips with credit cards and some transaction limits will be in place.
The Gaming & Wagering Commission, on the other hand, required the casino operator to provide it with an update on the practice in three months. The regulatory body explained that in return to permission for cashless chip payments testing, Crown Perth will have to provide a report on the use of the facility after the first three months of operation.
The announcement of the new cashless chip purchase option testing has fuelled some controversy. Anti-gambling campaigners have warned that the implementation of an EFTPOS system for making cashless chip purchases would considerably worsen the situation regarding local people’s problem gambling activity. According to gambling addiction advocates, players will spend more money in gambling venues, if such an option is available to them, and that it could considerably deteriorate compulsive gambling habits of some casino patrons as they will no longer be forced to leave gaming tables to purchase chips.
Crown Perth casino, however, disagrees with such claims. As it explained, it is simply aimed at making progress towards new options to handle customers’ transactions, considering the massive societal shift to cashless payment options that, according to the gambling operator, has been accelerated by the coronavirus outbreak. On the other hand, Crown Resorts explained that it is not planning to end the use of standard cash payments in its casinos, and the eventual implementation of the new payment option is aimed at simply facilitating casino patrons who would prefer to use cashless payment methods to purchase chips for gaming tables.