Casino Service Provider Everi Sued over Payment Solution

Koin Mobile, a pioneering digital payments firm looking to take on the incumbents, has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Everi, a behemoth in casino operations. It alleges that Everi has engaged in practices that effectively block alternative non-cash funding platforms for gaming activities at casinos and other businesses.

An Everi banner outside the NYSE after its public launch. (Source: Everi via Facebook)

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Koin Mobile, established in 2021, has tried to become a notable alternative in the digital payments arena. Its platform, Koin Wallet, is not just a tool for facilitating online gaming transactions but extends its utility to general-purpose use, distinguishing itself from competitors with its versatility and user-centric design.

Koin Mobile contends in its lawsuitthat Everi, through its dominant CashClub Wallet, has entrenched itself in the market by forging exclusive deals with casino operators. It thereby limits the availability of competing cashless solutions and causes an unfair imbalance of power.

Related: Koin Payments and Baldinis Casino Team Up to Launch Cashless Gaming in Northern Nevada

The crux of Koin Mobile's legal argument is that Everi's actions constitute anticompetitive behavior aimed at monopolizing the digital wallet market within the gaming industry. By allegedly tying casinos and their patrons to the CashClub Wallet, Everi is accused of stifling innovation and consumer choice, forcing customers to either use its wallet or forego the benefits of cashless gaming altogether.

Koin Mobile argues that such practices hinder the growth of potential competitors. At the same time, it also impeded the overall advancement of the sector by discouraging the adoption of more efficient, secure, and customer-friendly payment methods.

The implications of this lawsuit extend beyond the two companies involved. It touches on broader themes of market fairness, consumer rights, and the role of technology in shaping the future of financial transactions.

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Four Years in the Making

In 2020, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved regulations that permit digital payments for gaming. This decision marked a pivotal change in the gaming industry, reflecting a shift towards technology-driven solutions and away from the traditional cash-based systems. Everi quickly responded and began establishing relationships with hospitality companies in Nevada and elsewhere.

The unanimous vote by the commission allowed for the electronic transfer of money to games or gaming devices, aligning with the broader industry trends and consumer preferences for digital transactions. The approved cashless systems, which were already in use in tribal casinos and other markets, were subject to additional requirements under the Gaming Control Board's technical standards. This regulatory change was not only a response to the evolving technological landscape but also a measure to enhance the gaming experience while ensuring responsible gambling practices.

The new rules included provisions for daily monetary transfer limits and the display of responsible gambling messages on devices. The move was supported by various stakeholders in the industry, including the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, which highlighted the potential for improved legal compliance, public health and safety, and operational efficiencies. The American Gaming Association also backed the transition, emphasizing the demand from casino customers for cashless or digital payment options.


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