Mississippi has been among the pioneering states in the US that launched sports betting. With the quick and constant progress of betting technology, Mississippi started falling behind some other states. However, this is set to now change, as the state has seen the first cryptocurrency automated teller machine (ATM) installed at a local casino.
Recently, the D’Irberville-based Starlet Pearl Casino has installed a cryptocurrency ATM, becoming the first casino in South Mississippi to have one. The move was confirmed by the CEO of the gambling venue, LuAnn Pappas.
The cryptocurrency ATM device will allow casino patrons to directly convert cryptocurrency to physical cash and use the money to gamble at the casino. The new addition to the casino’s payment methods would make it especially convenient for customers who are also trading with cryptocurrency.
For the time being, Mississippi’s laws do not allow people to use cryptocurrency directly for playing on a slot machine. However, these restrictions do not apply to cryptocurrency ATMs.
Things got even further, as the Mississippi Gaming Commission has not fully ruled out the chance for casinos to go cashless in the future. Jay McDaniel, the CEO of the state’s gambling regulatory body, explained that the hard situation associated with the coronavirus pandemic has paved the way for further discussions about cashless payment in local casinos. He has not rejected the chance for Mississippi to follow Las Vegas’ suit and also officially implement cashless options for its gambling sector.
Cashless and Cryptocurrency Payments Could Raise Younger Audiences’ Engagement with Mississippi’s Gambling Sector
According to some reports, the adoption of new technology in combination with the increasing popularity of mobile betting could make gambling more appealing to customers.
Jonathan Jones, who is the manager of Biloxi-based Harrah’s Gulf Coast, has explained that the implementation of technology solutions such as cryptocurrency ATMs could attract more young people to the sector. He shared that millennials prefer cashless transactions through special applications, e-wallets or cards, so the more cashless options available, the bigger the chances for younger demographic engagement.
Mr. Jones believes that cashless payment options are the best option for the Mississippi gambling sector. The current situation that requires customers to make a cash withdrawal from an ATM device and then exchange the money for casino chips can take up to several minutes, and the process could discourage younger people who are used to living at a faster pace and do not like to be kept waiting. According to Jones, land-based casinos are currently among the few places that rarely provide their customers with the chance to choose any type of payment other than cash.
On the other hand, millennial players require much more tailored technology solutions to match their needs, which, according to Mr. Jonas, would lead to an expansion of the available gambling and betting options offered by local casinos. He further noted that a new blackjack and poker terminal, as well as a sportsbook service, are set to be implemented in Harrah’s Gulf Coast casino soon.
Apart from the cashless option in its gambling sector, Mississippi also lacks mobile gambling, which has already been legalized in other US states. The coronavirus pandemic outbreak has made casino and sports betting options much more preferred by gamblers since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, considering the lengthy lockdowns and the rest of the measures associated with the pandemic. Still, it is the state’s Legislature that will decide whether or not to make mobile gambling legal in Mississippi.