Gambling Today: Las Vegas Sportsbooks Find Innovative Way to Boost Mobile Betting

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The drive-thru lines around Las Vegas are no longer limited to In-N-Out Burger or Starbucks. As brick-and-mortar Las Vegas sportsbooks are forced to remain closed as casinos follow the “Stay At Home For Nevada” shutdown, three sportsbooks turned their attention to the empty parking lots. Circa Sports, the South Point and William Hill created drive-thru lines for bettors that wanted to make deposits and create new mobile accounts. The new practice allows bettors to complete the transaction from their cars, allowing for proper social distancing guidelines.

Gaming regulations demand that customers sign up for mobile betting accounts in person. William Hill offered five locations around the valley to offer sports fans a safe and convenient way to sign up and deposit into their mobile sportsbook. At the new drive-thru William Hill locations, bettors interested in creating a mobile account need to download the app in advance of arrival and take a picture of their valid state-issued ID. Upon arriving, patrons can complete the contactless registration process by taking a selfie with the app to verify their identity.

“Ahead of the largest sporting event of the month (UFC 249), we wanted a safe way to meet the current demand from our customers,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US.

The South Point’s app had been turned off since casinos were shut down in March. Workers wore face masks while helping customers open new accounts with sterilized clipboards for those who needed to fill out the forms to open a new account or make deposits in the area normally reserved for South Point Hotel valet parking.

Circa Sports, located downtown and often a hassle for locals who live in other parts of town, has kept its app open throughout the shutdown but hasn’t been able to accept new sign-ups. That all changes with its new drive-thru service.

Curbside service has allowed the casinos to bring back a handful of employees who were furloughed during the shutdown. There will be many changes to Las Vegas after casinos are allowed to reopen in Governor Sisolak’s “Phase 3” post COVID-19 shutdown. Hopefully, permitting online signups and ending the absurd in-person mobile sports betting account registration is among those changes.