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Industry Outlook: 2021 Gaming Predictions

by Global Payments Gaming Team / January 12, 2021

For years, industry leaders have anticipated the gradual adoption and acceptance of cashless and contactless gaming methods. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for digital solutions to ensure consumers and casinos alike can continue operating safely during this period of social distancing. Moving forward, operators and legislators should keep these three areas in mind when looking into gaming expansions in 2021 and beyond.

The Rise of Cashless Gaming
Prior to the pandemic, digital alternatives to brick-and-mortar experiences were not considered a necessity, but rather an opportunity to meet consumers’ evolving preferences. However, studies show that 30% of consumers started using contactless payment methods at the beginning of the pandemic. Furthermore, 70% of these recent adopters plan to continue using digital payment methods once the pandemic subsides, proving that cashless gaming has become a priority for operators.

Operators looking to remain viable should strive to implement cashless, contactless solutions that are interoperable with existing infrastructure on the casino floor. By embracing system-agnostic solutions, casinos can tap the flexibility needed to offer digital alternatives to traditional forms of wagering.

A Boom in iGaming
The iGaming industry experienced rapid growth in 2020. Similar to cashless gaming on the casino floor, the pandemic increased the demand for online and mobile gaming methods.

Operators can leverage this demand to their advantage by implementing iGaming solutions that utilize a multi-channel approach to connect online and brick-and-mortar experiences. The blending of digital and physical elements enhances the gaming experience for patrons, making it a viable area for operators to explore in states where it is legal.

A More Welcoming Regulatory Environment
Online sports betting has gained momentum across the U.S. In fact, 19 states plus Washington, D.C. are live with legal sportsbooks, according to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) interactive sports betting map.

In 2020, Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota passed measures to legalize sports betting, setting the precedent for state legislators across the country to reassess their existing gaming polices.

As casinos continue to navigate remaining operational and ensuring the health and safety of guests and staff, online sports betting offers a practical alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar gaming experience. Looking ahead, the digital evolution within the industry is expected to grow the iGaming sector and spark conversations among regulators looking to lead the industry forward.

ICYMI: Christopher Justice, president of Global Payments Gaming Solutions, was recently featured in CIO Review magazine. In the article, Justice speaks on the evolution of the gaming industry and the shift toward digital experiences.

Tags: iGaming cashless gaming

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