Nevada casino visitors will now be able to create, verify and fund their cashless wagering accounts remotely, after a unanimous vote Thursday by the state’s Gaming Commission on an amendment proposed by Sightline Payments.
Even though commissioners expressed concern about the need for remote registration, they also understood the challenges of the increased use of technology and cashless payments.
As reported by The Nevada Independent, Gaming Commissioner Ben Kieckhefer said: “We balance the need for intense integrity in some of these processes with the ongoing need to stay modern in our technological offerings to the consumers as they come into our state and our facilities. I think this goes in a positive direction of supporting whatever the consumer wants while maintaining the integrity”.
Nevada Gaming Commissioner Ben Kieckhefer.
The regulation change allows casino patrons to use an app to register their information, fund a cashless gaming account and complete the sign-up process remotely, including the use of ID verification. Under the regulation, the customer would have to show the government-issued identification document upon arrival at the casino to complete the account set-up process.
Before this regulation change, cashless gaming customers at Nevada casinos needed to physically verify their identity with a staff member. To Sightline Payments, this resulted in “delays, and a suboptimal consumer experience”.
Their proposal, which has now become a reality, “only impacts the creation of casino wagering accounts, and will not affect current practices for creating sports betting accounts in Nevada”, the company stated in an official press release.
“What we’re proposing today would actually be a two-step process for remote verification, which actually provides more safety for the registration of the account”, Sightline co-CEo Omer Sattar told the Gaming Commission.
Nevada Gaming Commission meeting on Thursday, Jan. 20.
Sattar also stated the remote registration process, which follows all the “know your customer” guidelines provided by federal anti-money laundering regulators, will be up and running by March.
“We actually think the system is more safe, more secure, but it makes it easier for the vast majority of consumers to actually try real cashless chains in the state of Nevada”.
Sightline first submitted its petition to modify Nevada regulations for casino wagering accounts for cashless gaming in late 2020. The company resubmitted it in September 2021 following successful launches of cashless gaming at Boyd Gaming's Aliante Casino in North Las Vegas and Resorts World Las Vegas.
The Nevada Gaming Commission held two workshops in November and December 2021, which resulted in the approval of the regulation change. Regulators continue to make changes driving cashless gaming innovation following their June 2020 decision to allow cashless gaming within Nevada casinos.
A potential roadblock to the regulation change was removed in December when an attorney representing Station Casinos said language coupling a government-issued ID with remote verification was a proper method to avoid any violation of federal anti-money laundering laws.
In December, Deputy Attorney General Michael Somps said he did not see any conflict with federal law after reviewing procedures developed by federal anti-money laundering regulators.
“We are grateful to the Nevada Gaming Commission for their unanimous support of this regulatory change. Continuous innovation is critical to ensure Nevada remains at the forefront of gaming, and we could not do that without the support of our regulators. I would like to thank all the members of the Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board for their efforts, and I would like to specifically thank Gaming Control Board Member Phil Katsaros, who was a champion of this change”, Sattar said.
Jennifer Carleton, Sightline’s Chief Legal Officer, added: "This shift to allow for digital identity verification for wagering accounts allows Nevada's gaming industry to leverage the best practices from across the financial services industry to enhance customer security and the customer experience. Nevada's new regulation is in line with federal guidance permitting both new verification methods including knowledge-based authentication, as well as traditional documentary measures such as a customer's driver's license or passport. We look forward to working with regulators in gaming jurisdictions across the country to advance similar regulatory innovation."