Caesars Casinos bank on New Mobile Payments to lure Chinese

Caesars casinos expand new mobile payments via WeChat Pay for Chinese customers in Las Vegas.

WeChat Pay Mobile Payments at Caesars Las VegasCaesars casinos are synonymous with Las Vegas. Caesars Palace is one of the most recognized brands on The Strip, and is frequented by millions of tourists each year. But it’s a regionally popular brand, and one that sorely lacks recognition among Chinese visitors.

Unlike several of its major competitors in Sin City—namely Las Vegas Sands, MGM and Wynn Resorts—the Caesars name isn’t popular in the Asian gambling mecca of Macau. For this reason, Chinese tourists coming to Las Vegas are less inclined to visit any Caesars properties.

The gambling company is hoping to change that with an expansion of its new mobile payments processor, WeChat Pay. Since last year, Chinese visitors have been able to book a room at several Caesars’ Las Vegas properties via the social media platform, WeChat. Now, they’ll be able to pay for other goods and services with the popular mobile payments app.

WeChat Pay Mobile Payments at Caesars Las Vegas

According to the social media platform, WeChat boasts more than 900 million active users each month. Among them, 90% are Chinese. And unlike many other popular social media platforms, WeChat comes with its own mobile payments facilitator, WeChat Pay.

By expanding the availability of WeChat Pay throughout Caesars casinos, the Las Vegas entertainment and hospitality group is hoping to tap into that immense market. The casino corporation is installing QR-codes for WeChat Pay. These allow customers to instantly pay for select merchandise and services by simply scanning the QR-code on their mobile device and confirming the purchase.

Bruce Bommarito is the Vice President of International Marketing for Caesars Entertainment. He told Las Vegas Review Journal in an interview last week, “We want to do this for our Chinese customers to make them feel at home.”

Bommarito believes Caesars casinos, and their clientele, will benefit greatly from the launch. Chinese customers can now instantly purchase food, retail items and tickets for live entertainment via the new mobile payments option. “We have been working hard on the Chinese market,” he said.

For now, WeChat Pay is available for use in three Caesars casinos. These includ Caesars Palace, the LINQ Prominade, and Paris Las Vegas.

Economic Boom in China Good for Las Vegas

China’s economy has been booming in recent years, and it’s translating to higher revenue at major gambling resorts. In December of last year, Hainan Airlines opened three weekly non-stop flights between Bejing and Las Vegas. Due to high demand, the aircraft for these flights was upgraded from a Boeing 787-8 to 787-9. This alone increases passenger capacity by almost 40 seats per trip.

In 2015—the last year passenger numbers were published—an estimated 206,753 visitors traveled from China to Las Vegas. That reflects a 10% increase from 2014 estimates by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).

Those figures rank China as #8 among the top 10 international countries touring Sin City. Canada ranks #1, followed by Mexico, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Brazil and Germany.

With WeChat already providing Chinese customers the ability to book a room at Caesars resorts, the new mobile payments option could be the perfect catalyst for further increasing visitation to Caesars casinos in the coming years.

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