International Game Technology Plc (IGT) and Scientific Games Corp have signed a cross-licensing agreement for patents related to cashless slot gaming technologies. The deal covers the United States’ gaming market. No mention was made of whether it could eventually be extended to Asia.
The announcement came in a joint press release by the two companies, issued on Monday.
Through the agreement, each company will have immediate access to the other party’s cashless gaming patents. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
IGT and Scientific Games are among the largest providers to the international gaming industry of casino equipment and technology.
“Under the agreement, Scientific Games and IGT will be able to offer patented cashless gaming technologies from the companies’ combined portfolios of casino management systems solutions to the U.S. gaming industry,” the companies said.
A number of industry observers has said that supply of “cashless and contactless” technology for financial transactions by casino players is likely to be a growing business segment amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Demand for contactless player-funding technologies has already accelerated, according to some gaming equipment suppliers.
“By combining the strongest features of each company’s cashless gaming patent portfolio, IGT and Scientific Games are providing a solution for the gaming industry to quickly increase adoption of cashless technology,” the two firms stated.
The press release quoted Renato Ascoli, chief executive of global gaming at IGT as saying that “this cross-licensing agreement provides casino operators access to the gaming industry’s most compelling portfolio of cashless gaming technologies.”
He added: “Cashless gaming is here to stay, and this strong portfolio of cashless intellectual property (IP) can help casino operators ensure the safety of players by reducing cash handling and points of contact with slot games, while considerably improving casino operating efficiencies.”
Matt Wilson, CEO of the gaming business unit at Scientific Games was also quoted in the release. “Consumers are increasingly comfortable using cashless technology, and they will continue to expect this option to be available on the floor. We’re excited to partner with IGT to make it easier for operators to deliver for their players.”
IGT mentioned in a recent announcement its growing focus on cashless technology for land-based as well as online play, as part of its response to the challenges wrought to the casino industry by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an interview in October last year, Scientific Games’ group CEO Barry Cottle noted that Covid-19 had “raised the importance” of cashless technology within the casino industry.
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