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Keeping Nevada the gold standard for innovation

Omer Sattar
Omer Sattar
Opinion
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Nevada has long been the home for innovation in the gaming industry. From the state’s very humble beginnings of gaming in the 1930s through the innovations the industry spearheaded to safely open following the COVID-19 closures in 2020, innovation from the gaming industry is as tied to Nevada as the Hoover Dam and the Battle Born flag.

One of the major innovations that Nevada spearheaded since the start of the pandemic has been the use of digital payments on the gaming floor. As the pandemic struck, many businesses shifted to digital only payments, with Governor Sisolak going as far in his guidance to businesses to “use digital payment options wherever possible.” This shift in consumer behavior towards digital payments and away from cash similarly made its way towards gaming as well.

Last June, the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission approved new regulations to allow for cashless technologies within the state’s casinos. More recently, regulators in Nevada approved additional regulatory changes to allow for more streamlined cashless gaming technology.

All of these regulatory changes had a common goal in mind—to keep Nevada at the forefront of innovation across the gaming industry. By providing these new options for visitors, we seek to reinforce our position as one of the premier tourist destinations in the world.

As the Nevada economy continues to recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t stop thinking about how we innovate the experience to showcase our great city and great state.

That is why Sightline submitted a change to the Nevada Gaming Control Board today to allow for digital identity verification for wagering accounts used in casinos.

Some Nevada casinos are starting to see success with cashless wagering, but the biggest point of friction occurs when a guest signs up for a wagering account. This generally involves standing in line and filling out paperwork in the casino. The technology exists to streamline this process to allow for guests to verify their identity to create their loyalty and wagering accounts prior to setting foot in Las Vegas. This technology is widely utilized for gaming purposes in many states and across the financial services space where digital payments providers operate.

We know the immense investment brick-and-mortar casinos make in their communities across the state of Nevada. That is why this regulatory change is solely focused on modifying the identity verification procedures for in-person wagering and will not modify the current procedures for sports betting and poker.

Nevada has long been at the forefront of gaming innovation—thanks in large part due to UNLV’s role in pushing the industry forward. From the 25+ year history of UNLV’s International Gaming Institute to their recent creation of the Blackfire Innovation Lab, UNLV has helped advance Nevada’s economy to ensure that it has been and will continue to be the gaming capital of the world.

With the Biden administration’s recent change to allow for vaccinated international travelers to resume travel to the United States, we must continue to deliver an unparalleled, modern entertainment experience that attracts those visitors to choose Las Vegas as their first destination.

Addressing this regulatory change will allow Nevada to better meet those needs and deliver new products to our local community, tourists across the USA, and even around the world.

Omer Sattar co-founded Sightline Payments in 2011 with the goal of reducing the dependence of cash within the casino gaming industry’s ecosystem. He was named to Business Insider’s 2021 Power Players In Sports Betting. (Disclosure: Omer Sattar personally donated to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, and Sightline Payments donated to Gov. Sisolak’s gubernatorial campaign.)

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