Global Payments seeks bigger role in gaming industry Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports · October 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm Payment technology and software solutions provider Global Payments Inc. eyes a bigger role in gaming as it prepares to launch a mobile solution for cashless play at an Oklahoma casino in November and looks to leverage its acquisition of the payment processor TSYS to further expand its offerings in the industry. The Downstream Casino Resort in Quapaw will host the trial of the company’s new cashless casino gaming system, VIP Mobility. The Atlanta-based Global Payments first showcased the system at last year’s G2E. Casino customers will be able to transfer funds from their bank account directly to the casino through the use of a mobile app. The app produces a digital ticket for play on slot machines and table games, and any winnings are deposited directly back into the customer’s bank account when play is done. It also can be used to pay for meals in restaurants, goods in retail stores, and tickets to shows and events by scanning a smart tag with the phone. The app can also be used to withdraw cash from ATM kiosks in casinos or cages. “This will revolutionize the gaming environment,” said Christopher Justice, president of the company’s Gaming Solutions division. “It will be the only cohesive resort experience offered. It’s gaming on your phone from home to the full-on gaming experience on the floor and slots and the rest of the resort experience with restaurants, retail and hotel. It’s creating that Amazon-like experience where it’s easy to get money in, easy to participate and easy to get money out, which is exactly what a guest would expect to happen.” The technology overcomes the challenge of using credit cards for gaming, in which there’s a limit on cash advances at the cage and a decline rate of more than 60 percent for online gaming, Justice said. More than 80 percent of Americans own a smart device and more than half of those are older than 65, he added. Justice said Global Payments’ business is “growing by leaps and bounds” and that the company is “leading the charge” in the iGaming and digital transformation spaces. Global provides 40 percent of wallet share across iGaming, iLottery and sports betting for funding, he said, building on the company’s current casino portfolio of cash access solutions such as cash advances, check cashing, and ATMs. Global Payments provides payment processing and other services to more than 500 casinos across the country. The merger with TSYS, completed in September, will open other opportunities in the gaming space, Justice said. The combined company, which has more than 24,000 employees worldwide, will provide payment and software solutions to 3.5 million predominantly small-to-mid-sized merchant locations. “The ($21.5 billion) acquisition of TSYS gives Global Payments unprecedented size and scale,” Justice said. “Being the only payment processor with a direct investment in the gaming space certainly supports the investments we are making in the industry to deliver products and services that help the casino deal with the aging landscape. The complete portfolio of things we do in the space are going to be significant. By adding TSYS we have more processing capability for the rest of the resort than anybody that’s out there.” The significance of the VIP Mobility solution as part of an integrated resort use can’t be understated, and it will lead to additional revenue by driving spending throughout the property, Justice said. Players, for example, will take winnings from the gaming floor to other parts of the property, where they might eat at Wolfgang Puck or shop at Louis Vuitton, Justice said. “If I got $5,000 on my phone because I was a big winner, I may want to use that value as opposed to getting money (on) a credit card,” Justice said. “It’s now convenient to easily transfer that value to places I’m interested in with the click of a button.” The initial use for the mobile technology will be on tribal properties in 2020, but Justice said it will ultimately expand to commercial properties, which go through a more rigorous regulatory process. “There are more than 20 casinos waiting in the wings to see how it goes,” Justice said. Casinos will see a “significant return on investment by eliminating cash handling and allowing players to remain engaged at their slot machine or on table game because they can get funding” with their phone, Justice said. “The number of employees should decrease, the cost of maintaining your systems should decrease, the longevity of your accounting components should increase, and there are decreases in armored carrier, insurance and losses,” Justice said. At Downstream Casino, Global Payments is upgrading kiosks already in place with a new software application; the casino is installing bluetooth components inside their slot machines, and Global Payments has provided a printer for the pit to use in printing tickets for table games. With the YSYS merger, VIP Mobility will ultimately be used for tipping hotel and casino employees who will have a smart tag on their name tag. The tip is deposited to a TSYS’ Netspend prepaid debit card. Justice said Netspend cards purchased at retail stores and loaded with cash will eventually be used for iGaming and other gaming purposes.