Despite no movement on cashless and contact- less payments in the Triennial Review, the DCMS has encouraged the industry to continue its engagement with the Gambling Commission.
“There appears to be continued industry wide support for the introduction of contactless payments, especially given the potential for corresponding player protection measures that could be introduced alongside this form of payment,” the department stated. “We note the Commission advice on this issue and will not be taking this proposal forward at this time. We do, however, encourage industry to continue their engagement with the Commission so that industry can keep pace with technological change in regard to payment methods, including potential alignment with work that the Commission will be doing on tracked play.”
As with stakes and prizes on amusements machines, the disappointing outcome was expected following last year’s consultation document. The issue, however, is not going to go away any time soon, and suggestions from the industry for the next consultation on cashless have already come forward.
“Cashless is the future and needs to be addressed,” said Electrocoin’s John Stergides.
“Currently the maximum note you can insert into a machine to commit to play is only £20. The same should be done with the contactless card which can have a limit of £20 or £30 (which is the maximum allowed anyway for con- tactless transactions in any retailer). A possible suggestion is that only once the initial £20 (contactless payment) has been spent should the player be able to commit another contact- less payment. This way it’s fair and no one can spend more than what is needed.”
Operator of CC Leisure Ray Stewart also believes that the self-limiting quality of debit cards can be used to the industry’s advantage.
“I think debit cards could work as they are self regulating,” he said. “You have a limit of how much you can spend per day, so there’s actually a control measure already in place.”
While for the amusements industry the simplicity of this system sounds ideal, from the DCMS and Commission’s response there is clearly still a long way to go before cashless and contactless payments are allowed in AGCs.