Singapore casino complex Resorts World Sentosa announced on Monday a strategic collaboration with Ant Financial Services Group whereby Alipay – China’s largest mobile payment provider – was appointed Resorts World Sentosa’s preferred partner for contactless mobile payments made on site by visitors from mainland China.
Alipay on-site payment terminals will be made available at “more than 110 locations around Resorts World Sentosa and more services at the resort will progressively become Alipay-enabled,” stated a press release issued jointly by Resorts World Sentosa and Alipay.
Under the partnership, Alipay was also named the official partner of S.E.A. Aquarium and Resorts World Theatre, two non-gaming entertainment venues at Resorts World Sentosa.
The casino resort was built and is operated by Genting Singapore Plc, a subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Bhd.
The partnership between Resorts World Sentosa and Alipay comes as the former “strengthens its strategy of growing its important cross-border Chinese business,” said the press release.
Chinese visitors are viewed as a vital target group for Singapore’s casino resorts, according to several investment analysts covering the gaming sector.
Monday’s press release stated that Alipay would be “widely accepted across hotels, dining, retail and entertainment at Resorts World Sentosa to create [a] ‘smart tourism’ visitor experience for the Chinese market.”
A spokesperson for Resorts World Sentosa told GGRAsia by email that Alipay’s on-site payment system would not be available in the property’s casino.
Resorts World Sentosa’s official website had already been accepting online payments via Alipay for bookings of hotel packages and tickets to non-gaming attractions.
Alipay is a third-party online payment platform from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s finance arm Ant Financial Services Group. It is considered China’s largest online payment service. In addition to offering a payment service for online shoppers, for money transfer and for payment of utility bills, the firm also offers users contactless mobile payment services inside and outside China.
Resorts World Sentosa and Alipay will also market – exclusively to Alipay users – joint travel packages and promotions.
Genting Singapore reported net profit of SGD10.8 million (US$7.9 million) for the first quarter of 2016, down by 83 percent from the prior-year period.
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"People are still pretty reserved in their [gaming] spending. And what the [junket] sector faces now is that the collection of [gaming] debt is difficult"
Kwok Chi Chung
President of the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters