Sightline’s cashless payment ecosystem to debut at Resorts World Las Vegas

June 16, 2021 6:22 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
June 16, 2021 6:22 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports

Imagine being able to walk into a casino and without using cash, or credit or debit cards, play slots, table games and even dine at a restaurant.

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That cashless ecosystem will become a reality when Sightline Payments’ Play+ infrastructure is deployed when Resorts World Las Vegas opens June 24.

“Our goal was to partner with an integrated resort to have cashless technology like this,” says Sightline Vice President of Strategic Development & Government Affairs Jonathan Michaels, noting that objective was set 10 years ago when the payments technology company was launched. “We’re absolutely over the moon being able to provide this at the first new major Las Vegas casino opening in 10 years.”

Resorts World Las Vegas is being billed as the world’s first casino where guests can pay for anything at the property with cashless payments. The Resorts World mobile app, which will be used for cashless payments, was developed by JOINGO, a mobile platform provider recently acquired by Sightline Payments.

“Our vision at Resorts World Las Vegas has always been to provide first-of-its-kind experiences across every element of the resort, including gaming,” said Resorts World Las Vegas Senior Vice President, Casino Operations, Rick Hutchins Wednesday in a statement. “Through our partnerships with best-in-class gaming technology partners, we will offer our guests a fully integrated experience, not just on the gaming floor, but across the entire resort.”

Recently the Genting Group, parent company of Resorts, invested in Sightline Payments. Michaels says the casino operator’s faith in the Play + technology and its deployment is “the perfect marriage.”

The company did have some barriers to overcome before making the cashless technology available. One hurdle was circumvented in 2020 when the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved the use of cashless wagering systems. Sightline also had to ensure that the technology was able to work across an entire integrated resort, from slots to dining.

But will gamblers use cashless technology?

Michaels says the American Gaming Association researched contactless and digital payment methods last year and found that visitors to Las Vegas were at least open to the technology. He admits there was an initial hesitancy by some survey respondents, especially concerning responsible gaming.

“But as soon as you educated them – you can set time, deposits, spending limits and track all your spending – they very quickly went to `why wouldn’t I be able to use that,” he says. “A lot of that type of insight went into how we ended up launching this product.”

One of the things that bodes well for cashless solutions at casinos is an increasing comfort with digital payments by consumers. Because of the restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic, more people began paying for goods and services online.

“Over the course of the pandemic, you saw a huge rise in contactless payments, and less use of cash,” Michaels says. “I don’t think those trends are going to reverse. People realize how easy (cashless/digital payments) are to use. … Certainly, younger demographics will grasp this more easily, but I believe that across the board people are really going to embrace this technology.”

Currently, Nevada requires in-person registration to access cashless payment systems. Customers who want to use the Play+ system at Resorts World must sign up at the casino.