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South Dakota Casino Pushes For Cashless Gambling

Regulators Express Concern Over Potential Problem Gambling With A Cashless System

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Some casinos in South Dakota are looking to make cashless gambling the norm at its Deadwood properties.

According to local media outlets, two executives from Mineral Palace Hotel & Gaming appeared before the South Dakota Commission on Gaming Wednesday to present how their proposed technology would work and basically eliminate the handling of cash in casinos.

Kurt Hall, the gaming-floor manager at Mineral Palace, told regulators that people would send money from their bank account to the cashier cage and the money would be placed on their players’ accounts. Gamblers would then insert the card into the machine of their choosing and wins and losses would be kept track of on the card.

Hall said that the new system is to reduce the handling of cash, which should help prevent the spread of coronavirus inside the casino. Diana Prado, hotel operations director at Mineral Palace, said that other casinos were interested in using the technology as well.

“It would all be done electronically,” said Hall.

Regulators were skeptical of allowing a casino to go cashless, however. Local reports say that one regulator didn’t understand what the “end game” was and another worried that people would be more likely to gamble more than they could afford if they didn’t need to have the actual cash on them.

When asked about the end game, Hall said that all parties involved would benefit.

“It’s more convenience to the user,” said Hall. “In the long run, a casino would make more money and the gaming commission would make more money from taxes on play.”

The executive secretary was concerned that implementing this practice would allow participating casinos to function as a bank. She cited a similar system used by a South Dakota telephone race betting business, that went belly-up in 2017.