|In an attempt to reverse declining revenues, Finland’s State-owned slot machine association, Raha Automaatti Yhdistys (RAY), has begun the process of trialling a cash-free payment system for its network of Jokeripokeri slot machines.|
Begun late last month, RAY stated that it believed that was the first gaming organisation in the world to offer players the option of using regular smart ‘chip’ cards in order to make payments. In the early stages of the trial, association revealed that players could also make trial payments using Visa Electron and Digiraha cards but that gaming on credit was not possible.
“According to the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, nowadays people only use cash for just over one-third of their everyday purchases,” said Pasi Riihilahti, Technology Director for RAY.
“This is why we are offering players this new method of payment. It’s now increasingly rare for consumers to carry coins and this has started to impact RAY’s slot machine and game revenues in recent years.
“According to our research, over 40 percent of players state that a shortage of coins makes it difficult for them to play. The lack of coins prevents playing by those consumer segments who play only occasionally for fun.”
The e-payment trial began at RAY’s Potti and Tayspotti arcades near Helsinki with the aim being to have over 3,000 slot machines able to accept non-cash forms of payment by 2009. RAY stated that a decision on the future of cashless machines would be based on the results of its trials but that its intention was to have card readers on all gaming machines within a few years.