While the technology used to help people spend their money at an integrated resort is not typically of more interest than what they can spend their money on, the Resorts World Las Vegas mobile app and the technology that powers it is worth looking into.

The app is no mere gimmick designed to make the property appear more luxurious or futuristic—a quick glance at the facilities will tell you that the Genting-owned resort is genuinely both those things—but a hugely practical tool that removes friction from the visitor experience and delivers cost savings and security benefits. It also offers a preview of the types of technologies that will become the norm in the gaming industry as wider society moves towards the large-scale adoption of digital and mobile payments systems.

Rick Hutchins, SVP, Casino Operations at Resorts World Las Vegas, said the operator’s vision for the new property had been to “provide first-of-its-kind experiences” for guests, in part by utilizing the most advanced technology. With that goal in mind, the Resorts World Las Vegas mobile app, developed by Sightline Payments’ JOINGO, is designed to create a fully integrated experience on the gaming floor and across the entire property, with built-in loyalty and personalization based on the preferences of individual Genting Rewards program members.

In practice, that means guests can download the app and then use their phone to pay for gaming, entertainment, or hotel offerings, while automatically collecting loyalty program points with each eligible transaction. No ATM lines, no cash handling, no visits to the cage—just hold your phone over a scanner for a couple of seconds to pay and get on with enjoying your game or purchase. It could not be simpler for guests to use.

One of the reasons that it is so user friendly is that it will feel reassuringly familiar to many guests. Purchasing a coffee or groceries using Apple Pay or Google Pay, and keeping track of spending via those apps, is now a part of everyday life for millions of consumers.

While the simplicity of using a mobile phone to pay in one of Resorts World’s retail outlets or restaurants may be familiar, the experience of using an app to fund gameplay at its 1,400 slot machines and 117 table games will almost certainly be new to players.

The resort app’s digital gaming wallet, GamingPlay, can be funded by enrolling in Sightline Play+, which allows guests to external funding sources, such as their bank account, credit or debit card, or PayPal. The guest can then transfer money in and out of GamingPlay from wherever they are.

Once the funds are in place, guests simply need to scan cell phone QR codes to play slots or buy chips at the table. RFID-embedded chips and “smart” tables provide 100 percent accuracy in recording players’ gaming activity and ensure they receive correct recognition in the resort’s loyalty program, while ticket-in-ticket-out at tables allows guests to move between games without ever having to visit the redemption centre.

Omer Sattar, co-founder and EVP of Strategic Initiatives for Sightline Payments, describes the gaming industry as “one of the last cash-focused businesses in the U.S.,” but thinks that a tipping point is approaching because the latest digital payment technologies benefit both casino operators and their customers.

According to Sattar, the functionality of mobile payments, the ability to integrate loyalty programs with payments apps, and the safety of modern digital security solutions have created a winning model for retailers. He believes that the same can apply to the gaming industry, once operators recognize that their familiarity with “cash-intensive systems” does not outweigh the benefits of modernization.

Adopting mobile payments offers the gaming industry “a tremendous opportunity to transform their ‘traditional’ atmospheres and marry modern solutions with just plain fun,” said Sattar. The technology could not only help to drive growth in the sector, but it could also offer a “safer, more accessible, and more responsible experience for consumers.”

“Imagine booking a trip, downloading an app on your phone, and funding your accounts to have your trip all planned prior to arriving at your destination, where you can use it to pay on the casino floor, at the adjacent restaurant for dinner, and at the concert venue afterwards,” he suggested.

“Oh, and you can set a budget for yourself beforehand, use it on everything your hotel has to offer, and withdraw your money whenever you want, avoiding costly, repetitive ATM fees that add up in a hurry. Well, guess what? You can. The time for the cashless revolution in gaming and entertainment is here.”

The slick, user-friendly experience of gaming at Resorts World Las Vegas is evidence of that.

This article first appeared and Global Gaming Expo:

Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2021

This year the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2021 will welcome back the industry in-person. While Australians are unable to travel to the expo again this year, they have virtual options to attend conference sessions and information can be accessed here:

Virtual G2E (Oct 4-7, 2021)