Is Apple Pay coming to your Blackjack table?

It’s easy to play with $1000 in chips and make $100 bets, but harder to play with $1000 in bills because psychologically it seems like a lot.
Imagine walking up to a Blackjack table, tapping your phone against the felt and having the dealer hand you $500 in chips. That simple tap was simply you paying for your chips. Only instead of laying down money on the felt, the funds were deducted from your debit or credit card, via Apple Pay.

It could happen sooner than we think if Apple Pay takes off. And casinos that employ it would see huge advantages.

For one, casinos use chips because most players don’t associate chips with real money. It’s easy to play with $1000 in chips and make $100 bets, but harder to play with $1000 in bills because psychologically it seems like a lot. Letting players buy chips with Apple Pay would take away that one step of exchanging bills for chips, which could be hugely beneficial.

What’s more, casinos won’t have to worry about counterfeit money hitting the tables. Yes, many dealers will use a counterfeit pen to detect fake bulls, but it’s not foolproof. Because Apple Pay uses a buyer’s fingerprint to make the secure payment, casinos won’t have to worry about any of that.

While some are predicting that it’s only a matter of time before casinos start collecting Apple Pay at the tables, others point out that this likely won’t be the case.

innerapple14112014NFC is available in countries around the world, with the exception of the United States, which has been way behind on credit card payment systems. In Canada, for example, credit cards have a magnetic stripe, but it’s rarely used, primarily reserved for international transactions.

Instead, credit and debit cards have chip-and-pin technology, along with NFC technology. To pay for something, you insert your card into a terminal and enter your PIN, much like at an ATM. Many cards also have Visa PayWave,, MasterCard PayPass, and Interac Flash, which lets you tap your card and avoid entering any PIN (this is reserved for smaller transactions, usually under $50).

Apple Pay works on NFC technology, and while NFC has been available as a payment method outside the United States for quite some time, casinos haven’t started accepting NFC payments at the tables.

One reason? Casinos don’t want to pay the credit card fee. When you pay for something at a merchant, the merchant actually gives between 2 and 3% of the transaction to Visa, MasterCard, or Amex. When you’re a casino dealing with millions per day, that could add up to tens of thousands very quickly.

That being said, casino players do want to pay with credit. In fact, it’s the most popular payment method available at Palace of Chance. As more and more players get used to paying with credit cards at online casinos, the land-based properties may have to suck it up and give players what they want.

And if Apple Pay takes off, the one thing they want could very well be to pay from your iPhone or Apple Watch.


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