Las Vegas Sees Another Glimpse of a Touchless Future

Harrah's Las Vegas is placing bets on contactless casino gaming

By OTS Staff

From QR code menus to mobile check-ins, Las Vegas was already advancing the state of hospitality before the coronavirus pandemic grabbed the wheel and steered the industry toward a touchless future. 

Now, one Strip resort is placing bets on contactless, or at least reduced contact, casino gaming. 

Harrah’s Las Vegas this week debuted a first-of-its-kind “hybrid” table game, Roll to Win Craps, in which players place their bets via LED screen, and no physical chips exchange hands. Player stations handle the cash dispensing tickets to bettors, who can then view their “virtual” chips on the playing field. 

Add to this the plexiglass dividers that have been separating players for months, and you have “significantly reduced” touchpoints at the table, according to Harrah’s and game developer Aruze Gaming America.

‘Hands Off’ Approach

The introduction of Roll to Win Craps is the latest example of a resort taking a hands-off approach to traditional gaming. In January, Las Vegas-based Sightline Payments announced a partnership with Boyd Gaming and Aristocrat Technologies to provide cashless gaming technology to Boyd’s Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa in Michigan City, Indiana. 

In a news release announcing the partnership, Boyd Gaming signaled its intention to expand the use of cashless gaming tools at more of its properties in order to “extend the utility of the ecosystem to all patron-facing touchpoints.”

Similarly, Roll to Win Craps had been in operation at Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino in North Carolina before getting placement at Harrah’s Las Vegas. 

Touchless Hospitality

The American Gaming Association in 2020 reported that majorities of casino visitors are less likely to use cash and in greater favor of contactless payments on the casino floor in order to reduce their risk of contracting the virus. 

When Las Vegas Strip hotels reopened in June, following a statewide pause spurred by the pandemic, their widely publicized health and safety protocols were intended to assuage temporary concerns of gamblers and partygoers, but as the 2021 virtual Consumer Electronics Show has proven, touchless hospitality is here to stay, and COVID-19 may have simply accelerated the inevitable.

Masks might not be around forever, but when future players reach into their pockets, they’ll be pulling out their phones instead of their wallets. 

Read: Wynn Resorts Rises on Fortune’s ‘World’s Most Admired’ List

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