Sports betting kiosks

If you’re in a Nevada casino and want to bet on the big game (or even a little one) but don’t want the extra hassle and exercise of walking down to the sports book, you are in luck: sports betting kiosks are soon to be ubiquitous. From the LV Sun:

Like a brightly colored alien race descending for the Super Bowl, 8-foot-tall machines will be cropping up in casinos across Nevada, beckoning gamblers to make sports bets as quickly as withdrawing cash at an ATM or placing an order at a fast-food drive-through.

Called “iSports Stand,” these sports betting kiosks are like ATMs on steroids. They feature large touch screens and video monitors that flash as many as 50 ads every few hours – pitches that historically haven’t been welcome inside casinos.

Want a free beer or sub sandwich? How about a chiropractic exam or 300 bucks off real estate closing costs?

Besides the betting action, gamblers can click on ads that pop up on the screen, printing out 2-for-1 coupons and other offers from local mom-and-pop businesses and national chains.

Like other advancements in casino technology over the years, the kiosks – more than three years in development – will replace some work now done by casino employees and allow gamblers to place their bets faster and more conveniently.

The devices can go anywhere in a casino – near the buffet line or near retail stores . Winners will be given credits, which they can cash out with a cashier or use for more betting.

Like movie ticket terminals that have sprung up outside cine-plexes, the iSports Stand also has other functions for those who aren’t wagering-inclined. Slip in some cash and you can buy a show ticket or book a tee time at the casino’s golf course.

Las Vegas SUN: Sports betting on the go

This might be another step in the slow move towards legal Internet gaming. Like “remote wagering” in casinos, it removes the act of placing a bet from the actual casino (or, in this case, sports book). From there, it’s not much of a stretch to start taking bets outside of the casino.

As with any remote gaming proposal, there is the question of age verification. How can you be sure that the person using the “ATM for sports betting” is over 21? Since they are, apparently, only on the casino floor for now, it might not be an important issue, but if these kiosks were to appear elsewhere (let’s say, McCarran airport), it’d be a major point.

Once again, this proves that if you want to make money in a casino, your surest bet is to find a way for casinos to cut down on labor costs.

The inclusion of outside ads is striking–usually, casino managers are loath to remind customers that there are other things to spend their money on. It seriously makes me wonder whether the casino floor is just the first step for these kiosks.

Author: Dave

Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and author of several books, including Roll the Bones: The History of Gaming. Also Gaming and Hospitality editor for Vegas Seven magazine.