Your Las Vegas Experience Is Getting Closer To Touchless

Written By Marc Meltzer on June 3, 2020 - Last Updated on June 16, 2020

The casino experience will be changing in the future. This isn’t new, as casinos are always evolving. The recent closure of casinos could send technological upgrades into hyperspeed though.

Gaming manufacturers continuously offer casinos new technology to buy. Casinos tend to be slow to hop on to the newest technology trends. New casino games are often tested on the gaming floor, for example. Few of those games are cutting edge. New technology on the casino floor is a different story.

Some guests might like to see the latest technology upgrades. At the same time, some of the technology available might be a bit ahead of the curve for other casino guests. Casino operators have to balance what works for everyone versus what works for guests used to the latest and greatest innovations.

Casinos closing to help slow the spread of coronavirus might be the catalyst that they need to speed up the use of new technology.

Reserving space at a Las Vegas table game

Casinos around the country are debuting new technology to help expedite visits. Reserving a seat in a poker room has been around for years. The online and mobile technology that allows players to put their names on the list for a seat at the poker table is now rolling out for table games in at least one Nevada casino.

Sahara Las Vegas will allow players to book a reservation for a table game in advance of the visit. The new technology will allow players to walk right into the casino and sit down at a table. The service is intended to help small groups of players traveling together to make arrangements to play together at the same live game.

This new service at Sahara will cut down on groups of guests wandering the casino floor looking for a game. Fewer people walking around the aimlessly should help reduce the spread of any germs from the mouths of guests throughout the gaming floor.

Guests can reserve space at table games here.

Touchless loyalty cards

Video poker and slot machine players don’t need to use a physical casino loyalty club card to receive points when playing at Station Casinos properties. In 2017, Station Casinos deployed IGT’s Cardless Connect at its casinos.

Cardless Connect at Station Casinos properties allows guests to use their mobile phone to connect their Boarding Pass players club to their favorite gaming machine. Guests simply have to place their players’ club information in the Station Casinos app on the mobile phone.

Before putting money into a machine, the player simply waves their phone in front of the card reader to activate. The players will receive points for gameplay that they would normally receive by placing a card into the machine.

The technology started as a convenience for players. It has renewed interest from casinos now that players are looking to decrease how often they touch surfaces in a casino. Since first rolling out Cardless Connect, IGT has changed the name of the touchless solution. IGT Advantage now offers a variety of touchless services.

Unified wallets could be the next big step in gaming

Not all new technology for casinos is exactly “new.” A variety of gaming manufacturers have been pitching the unified wallet concept to casinos and gaming regulators for years.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, two Las Vegas casinos started a field trial for Everi’s CashClub wallet before casinos were ordered to close to slow the spread of coronavirus.

This cashless technology allows players to spend money on video poker and slot machines without juggling cash. A player will have an app on their phone that will connect their financial information to a kiosk. The device will print out a ticket that can be used in machine games.

Scientific Games has a similar unified wallet as part of its contactless gaming solutions.

Just about every large gaming manufacturer has some form of cashless gaming solution for casinos. More and more businesses have started offering cashless services. Expect to see this in casinos sooner than later.

Going touchless off the casino floor

Upon opening again, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment are touting the ability of touchless hotel check-in at their respective Las Vegas resorts. Thanks to mobile apps, guests can check into a hotel room and use a key on their mobile phone.

Guests may still check into a room at the front desk or use kiosks to check-in and print keys if they don’t mind touching a surface.

Casinos are also reducing the number of people gathering in small areas waiting in line for restaurants. Instead of reusing buzzers, Sahara will contact guests via their mobile phone when a table is ready at its restaurants. This reduces lines on the way into restaurants.

Sahara and various casino restaurants are also using QR codes for ordering food. This reduces another touchpoint by not having to physically hold a menu.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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