Debit card

Debit Card Use on Gaming Machines

The government’s response following its consultation on land-based gambling reforms was published on 16th May. These include proposals to allow direct acceptance of debit cards on gaming machines. Here are the initial thoughts from the team at Game Payment Technology.

The Gambling Commission have been left to determine how debit card acceptance can be implemented with appropriate player protection. Both the government and the commission envisage that this will be achieved through a review of the Gaming Machine (Circumstances of Use) Regulations 2007 and the Commission’s Gaming Machine Technical Standards.

Each transaction will need to be verified – implying that this applies to both deposits and collections by players. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the player will have to enter a PIN each time, though the payment device will need to be able to accept PINs. Players using Apple and Google Pay on their mobiles will be able to verify who they are using passcodes or fingerprint recognition, for instance. The government is suggesting that anything that satisfies Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements may be acceptable. This leaves some scope for innovation to lessen player inconvenience for debit card use.

The set of proposed limits (voluntary and mandatory) on deposits and session times will clearly take some thought to turn them into an effective and cohesive mechanism that offers some player protection without unduly affecting players at no risk of harm. One of the most challenging questions is how to recognise whether the same or different players have been using the machine.

The GPT team have some ideas on these points. We are planning to discuss with some of the manufacturers how payment systems technology and infrastructure can potentially help.

We plan to provide a working demonstration of debit card use on a gaming machine within the next few weeks. Watch this space!