Cryptocurrency ATM arrives at Scarlet Pearl Casino in Mississippi

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It’s been three years since the first legal sports bet was placed in Mississippi at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino and as expected, it has drawn a younger crowd to casinos on the coast.

Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville has seen a much younger customer, CEO LuAnn Pappas said, as well as more regional businesses.

In response, Scarlet Pearl will likely be what she believes is the first casino in southern Mississippi to install a cryptocurrency ATM, she told members of the Gulf Coast Business Council at the October meeting. at Gulfport.

The machines – already in use in Las Vegas – allow customers to convert their cryptocurrency into cash for use at the casino.

Cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency used to purchase goods and services.

Mississippi does not regulate whether a cryptocurrency ATM can be used in a casino, said Jay McDaniel, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

What the state does not yet allow is the use of a cryptocurrency or a credit card directly into a slot machine, he said.

Cashless payment in Mississippi is something the Gaming Commission would consider, he said, if casino operators requested it.

“COVID has driven this discussion,” McDaniel said.

Resorts World Las Vegas opened this summer with a cashless casino and cashless payments for dining, shopping and entertainment.

Will it happen in Mississippi?

“It’s really up to the operators at this point,” McDaniel said.

WHY TECHNOLOGY IS KEY

Other casino operators are looking to improve the technology to match the way young customers do business with the casino industry, said Jonathan Jones, managing director of Harrah’s Gulf Coast in Biloxi.

Jones said millennials are used to using their credit cards or mobile wallets and apps to pay for everything, and getting money to play at the casino takes time and can be a burden. They are also more likely to use the services of casinos that require tips, which can usually only be done with cash at this time.

“If you want to play table games at one of our properties and you’re a cashless millennial, you go to the ATM first. It takes 90 seconds, ”he said. “Then you go to the table game, you give them your money, they count it, they get someone to verify the account. Then they give you our currency – the tokens.

When they are done playing, he said, they are given a different colored token, which they take to the cage and collect some money.

“While consumers have become accustomed to making mobile payments or using cards for almost all other goods and services, land-based casino games have remained primarily dependent on cash transactions,” the American Gaming Association said in its State of the States report 2020.

Other technologies are also coming for younger players, Jones said, including a terminal that will allow players to watch a live sporting event, get odds for games, and play blackjack and video poker online. same time.

MOBILE SPORTS BETTING Coming to Mississippi?

Mobile sports betting allows fans to place a bet from their computer or smartphone in states that allow it.

In September, New Jersey became the first state to receive more than $ 1 billion in bets in a single month in sports betting at casinos, on computers and phones.

Mississippi Coast casinos cashed in $ 39 million in bets in September, including $ 22 million in football. The total for the state was $ 54.8 million.

Mississippi was the fourth state to legalize and open sports betting, but has yet to allow mobile betting.

“It would be up to the legislature,” McDaniel said.

While wagering over the phone inside a Mississippi casino is permitted, only one casino – Gold Strike in Tunica – allows customers to bet with their app in the casino.

In September, the BetMGM mobile app became available for download in Mississippi. Using geolocation technology, Gold Strike customers can place pre-match, live, futures and parlay bets from any mobile device.

Tennessee, which does not have a casino but allows online sports betting, posted a record $ 257 million in stakes in September.

Louisiana now has mobile sports betting in parishes where betting is permitted.

Jones said Mississippi is “a little behind mobile. We are working on it.

“We are very late,” replied Pappas.

Sports betting is very popular in Mississippi, Jones said, and its appeal and income is increasing. Once mobile betting is allowed, he said, casinos must ensure that the experience is correct so that customers want to go to the casinos for “a completely immersive experience”.


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