Why Cash Still Holds Power in the Online Gaming World

July 26, 2023

In recent years, the gaming industry has seen a trend towards going “cashless”, with alternative payment types becoming preferred payment methods for many new gamblers. Those who attended the 2022 G2E conference will likely recall the giant banner stating “Where we’re going, we don’t need cash” just above the entry to the exhibit hall, making a cashless future seem inevitable. 

Even so, it’s unlikely that cash will disappear anytime soon. This fundamental payment type will continue to be an important tender for a significant number of consumers—even those betting online. 

Image copyright: Las Vegas Sun

The Proof is in the Stats

Some players will always prefer to use cash for their betting activity, and eliminating it entirely would alienate that segment of the player base. In fact, 2022 research conducted by PayNearMe found that 63% of bettors would be likely to deposit cash for online betting if given the opportunity, including 69% of bettors aged 18 to 34, and 78% of frequent bettors. Taking that further, if their preferred betting platforms offered a cash deposit solution (the ability to deposit cash at a physical location to fund their online accounts), 43% of frequent bettors would make larger deposits more often. 

Benefits Beyond the Numbers

In addition to the hard statistics, there are plenty of qualitative benefits of cash in the betting world:

  • It’s easy. All consumers know how to use cash, in contrast to the generational gap that exists with digital payment method usage. 
  • It’s guaranteed. Unlike cards which can be rejected or charged back, or bank accounts which can have insufficient funds, once a cash transaction is completed it’s final. For operators, this improves overall acceptance rates. For bettors, this means fewer issues, and they can jump straight to playing without worrying their deposit might fail. 
  • It reduces fraud. Operators today are struggling with soaring fraud rates in online gambling—which is a natural side effect of the rising popularity of cashless payment methods. The ability to physically deposit in cash helps fight this risk and eliminates the chance of “friendly fraud” (bettors contesting the deposit with their card company after the fact).

Cash Supports Responsibility

There’s also evidence that cash payments can promote responsible gambling. According to the Association of Certified Gaming Compliance Specialists (ACGCS), one of the key principles of responsible gambling is that bettors “should not gamble more than they can afford to lose.” The UK’s Gambling Commission found that “cash was perceived as the best way to maintain control over gambling spend,” citing their research that backed the need for cash: 

“The majority (79%) of land-based gamblers feel that paying with cash helps them to feel in control of their spending, with 73% saying that paying with cash makes it easier to keep track of spending, and 70% reporting that paying with cash makes it easier to set limits on spending.”

UK’s Gambling Commission research

Cash & Cashless Can Coexist

PayNearMe has historically been bringing cash payments into the digital space by allowing deposits and withdrawals to be done in cash for iGaming and online sports betting platforms. That crossover between brick-and-mortar and digital payments—the omnichannel payment experience—is really what operators need to be looking ahead at. Bridging the gap to allow everyone to deposit and withdraw the way they prefer is how to capitalize on the growing market of players. 

Despite cash quietly thriving, the industry will continue to see progress as far as new digital payment types and emerging technologies for the younger and newer gaming audience. There will always be more work to be done as the market expands and as new tender types become available in the future, but the majority of casual bettors are able to access the payment types they’re looking for in one betting platform or another. One payment platform might offer PayPal and Venmo while another offers debit and ACH, but a consumer will be able to find the one they prefer somewhere. 

A Way to Offer Both

In a perfect world, would all platforms offer every tender type? Of course—and that’s where PayNearMe and the MoneyLine platform stand out in the world of payments. MoneyLine already offers cards, ACH, PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, and even cash payments within the digital space, and there’s more to come that will be attractive to the younger generation and newer, casual bettors. The cash piece of the puzzle isn’t going anywhere, but PayNearMe’s goal is to make the puzzle complete by setting operators up to succeed no matter what new payment technology might hit the market.

At the end of the day, giving players that streamlined, seamless experience is how operators will differentiate themselves. In addition to ease of use, there’s the issue of speed—especially when it comes to payouts. A major pain point in the online gaming industry is how long it takes a player to withdraw their winnings, which can result in operators losing out on customer loyalty and retention. MoneyLine solves for this by offering nearly instant payouts through a variety of tender types including debit, PayPal, Venmo and even cash at local ATMs through the Cardless Cash at ATM withdrawal feature. 

Trust the MoneyLine platform for iGaming payments

PayNearMe’s MoneyLine platform gives operators a complete deposit and withdrawal solution that boosts player satisfaction, lowers conversion costs, improves reliability and future-proofs your business. Operators will see higher customer loyalty and higher player acquisition just by optimizing their mix of tender types, and MoneyLine exists to offer operators all of those payment types—including cash—easily, from one integration. 

To learn more, contact our team or view an on-demand demo of the platform. 

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