The Philippines is leading the way in Asia for cashless land-based and online gaming, says casino industry technology supplier Light & Wonder Inc (LnW).
The company, formerly known as Scientific Games Corp, adds that a “major integrated resort at Manila Bay” is already using its software-application based Unified Wallet, enabling players to access their favourite games on a casino floor without needing to make a physical cash transaction. The company adds that other venues in the Philippines are having “conversations” with it, about the technology.
The player can link their bank card or bank account to Unified Wallet via a smartphone app, and then use it to pay for gaming, food and drink, hotel stays, or other services in a casino resort.
“If you already have your own bank partner or payment partner, we can make our Unified Wallet work with them,” Amit Patel, Light & Wonder’s systems sales manager for the Asia region, told GGRAsia.
“If you want to have multiple payment partners, no problem, we can make it work with them,” he added.
That was a “key differentiator” regarding the company’s eWallet product, relative to “most of our competitors”, stated Mr Patel.
Light & Wonder’s Unified Wallet and other cashless-gaming products had been in regular use in United States gaming markets over the past two years, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and consumer concerns about handling cash and maintaining social distancing, said the sales manager.
Mr Patel stated: “In Asia, Covid is a factor, but also, in land-based – take the Philippines for example – there are big players that don’t want to carry a lot of the high-denomination notes” that are a feature of the local currency.
The fact that the local casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), had permitted Philippine Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO) business – offering online betting to domestic customers – to be conducted via land-based operator premises, had been a big factor in adoption of cashless technology for gaming in that market, said Light & Wonder. In that case, a single eWallet can be used for land-based and online play.
Mr Patel noted that anti-money laundering and know-your-customer safeguards – that are already part of life for casino customers – were “taken care of” from the outset, when a player adopted Light & Wonder’s Unified Wallet. This was on the basis that users need to show proof of identity and bank or other payment account, when registering for the app.
In the case of the Philippines, Pagcor regulates the casino management system. The payment-provider part is regulated by the relevant national financial authorities.
Light & Wonder said that currently, casino customer-loyalty programmes tend to be focused on gaming activity. Venues that adopt cashless technology such as Unified Wallet, will be able to incorporate customer data from non-gaming activities, so that the venue operator can tailor better its rewards for each patron, stated the technology firm.
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Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp