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Industry Outlook: 2021 Gaming Predictions

For years, industry leaders have anticipated the gradual adoption and acceptance of cashless and contactless gaming methods. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for digital solutions to ensure consumers and casinos can continue operating safely during this period of social distancing. Therefore, operators and legislators should consider these three areas when looking into gaming expansions in 2021 and beyond.

The Rise of Cashless Gaming

Before the pandemic, digital alternatives to brick-and-mortar experiences were not considered a necessity but an opportunity to meet consumers’ evolving preferences. However, studies show that 30% of consumers used contactless payment methods during the pandemic. Furthermore, 70% of these recent adopters plan to continue using digital payment methods once the pandemic subsides, proving that cashless gaming has become a priority for operators.


Operators looking to remain viable should strive to implement cashless, contactless, interoperable solutions with existing infrastructure on the casino floor. By embracing system-agnostic solutions, casinos can tap the flexibility needed to offer digital alternatives to traditional forms of wagering.


A Boom in iGaming

The iGaming industry experienced rapid growth in 2020, like cashless gaming on the casino floor, and the pandemic increased the demand for online and mobile gaming.

Operators can leverage this demand to their advantage by implementing iGaming solutions that utilize a multi-channel approach to connect online and brick-and-mortar experiences. Blending digital and physical elements enhances the gaming experience for patrons, making it a viable area for operators to explore in states where it is legal.


A More Welcoming Regulatory Environment

Online sports betting has gained momentum across the U.S. 19 states plus Washington, D.C., are live with legal sportsbooks, according to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) interactive sports betting map.


In 2020, Maryland, Louisiana, and South Dakota passed measures to legalize sports betting, setting a precedent for state legislators nationwide to reassess their gaming policies.


As casinos continue to navigate remaining operational and ensure the health and safety of guests and staff, online sports betting offers a practical alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar gaming experience. The digital evolution within the industry is expected to grow the iGaming sector and spark conversations among regulators looking to lead the industry forward.


ICYMI: President of Global Payments Gaming Solutions, Christopher Justice, was recently featured in CIO Review magazine. In the article, Justice speaks on the evolution of the gaming industry and the shift toward digital experiences.