Nevada May Say Yes To Mobile Registration, Cashless Sports Betting Apps

Written By Marc Meltzer on June 11, 2020

Cashless sports betting could be coming to Nevada.

On June 25, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) will hold a public hearing to discuss allowing bettors to open and fund sportsbook accounts from their mobile phones without having to visit a casino first.

What would cashless betting mean?

The meeting notice details what the commission will discuss regarding cashless gaming:

“… to delete the prohibition concerning electronic funds transfers from a financial institution to a game or gaming device; to add a new section governing electronic transfers of money using a debit instrument to a game or gaming device; and to take such additional action as may be necessary and proper to effectuate these stated purposes.”

If approved, sports bettors will be able to open a mobile sports betting account in Nevada without having to visit a brick-and-mortar sportsbook first.

Additionally, they could have more convenient ways to use sportsbooks and avoid paying associated fees. Video poker, keno and slot players could also fund via casino apps and enjoy their favorite games.

Nevada mobile betting stuck in 2010

Sports betting apps has been legal in Nevada since 2010.

Mobile gaming operator Cantor Technology (now CG Technology) opened its first race and sportsbook at Tropicana. Today, almost every sportsbook operator in the Silver State offers a mobile sports betting option.

Nevada sports bettors have to physically visit a retail sportsbook inside of a casino to open a mobile wagering account and deposit funds. Furthermore, sports bettors also have to return to the casino’s sportsbook to withdraw winnings.

Play+ is a mobile banking option available to Nevada bettors; though it’s convenient, it includes fees.

Some sportsbook operators and many sports bettors have been eagerly awaiting the NGC to approve mobile account registration and funding options.

Unfortunately, in the past, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has repeatedly said no.

So, why change app registration now?

The lack of mobile funding is causing Nevada to lose clout in the sports betting business. Most legal gaming states, like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, offer bettors a variety of mobile betting options.

Nevada sports bettors have had even fewer betting options during the coronavirus pandemic.

State Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all casinos to close in March. With limited sports action, there were few live betting options. Residents wagered on table tennis and esports while NV casinos were closed.

There were only four mobile sportsbook apps available to existing Nevada account holders. Because the casinos were closed, signing up for a sportsbook account was impossible. To remedy the situation, a few Nevada sportsbook operators offered curbside service for bettors to open and fund mobile sports betting accounts.

There are a few good reasons to expand the cashless experience.

For one, cashless gaming allows for casino gamblers to touch fewer surfaces.

Secondly, creating a new sports betting account without making a trip to a Nevada casino should encourage more people to wager on sports.

Lastly, it will make it easier to wager on sports should there be another closure of retail sportsbooks.

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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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