From September 15, Chinese tourists will be able to book hotel rooms for Caesars Entertainment Corp casino hotel properties in the United States via the WeChat social media platform, report U.S. media.
WeChat was introduced to the Chinese market by Tencent Holdings Ltd in 2011 and is said to be one of the most popular social media platforms in that country. In its second quarter 2016 earnings report, Tencent Holdings claimed WeChat had 806 million monthly active users.
“The first phase of WeChat Booking is expected to go live on September 15 and will be linked to nearly 24,000 hotel rooms across the company’s Las Vegas portfolio,” said a note on Friday from John DeCree, an analyst at Union Gaming Securities LLC.
“The feature will allow Chinese users to book a hotel room in Las Vegas at Caesars’ properties without having to use a travel agent or tour operator,” added Mr DeCree.
In July, casino gaming revenue on the Las Vegas Strip was up 16.8 percent year-on-year, with the improvement largely driven by baccarat, the live table game of choice for most Chinese and East Asian gamblers.
Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino, an independently promoted Chinese-themed and focused property on the Las Vegas Strip, is expected to open in the fourth quarter this year. William Weidner, a former president and chief operating officer of casino group Las Vegas Sands Corp, is described as an advisor to the scheme.
In other developments, the Caesars group announced it would deploy skill-based electronic gaming machines from Gamblit Gaming LLC at its Harrah’s Rincon property in California.
Caesars additionally said it plans to try the machines in its Nevada properties, “including Las Vegas, pending regulatory approval”.
“Our agreement with Gamblit and the introduction of their skill-based gaming positions to our casinos are key milestones in our gaming innovation strategy and demonstrate progress towards creating the ‘casino of the future,’” said Mark Frissora, president and chief executive of Caesars, in a statement.
“Caesars is proud to be first to bring these innovative games to our customers, and we plan to make skill-based games an increasingly important part of the gaming floors,” he added.
In Friday’s note, Union Gaming stated: “If the launch is successful, Caesars could add up to 125 machines across its properties in Nevada and up to another 100 devices across its regional gaming portfolio, likely in Atlantic City, as Nevada and New Jersey have been the first two states to approve such skill-based games.”
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”The Nevada Gaming Control Board can confirm that it has reviewed the two notices [from Universal Entertainment] and that it is investigating the allegations contained therein [related to Kazuo Okada”
Supervisor at the investigations division of the Nevada Gaming Control Board