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Vegas visitors can now use their electronic wallet to pay hotel bills or buy show tickets, but not for gambling

Vegas visitors can now use their electronic wallet to pay hotel bills or buy show tickets, but not for gambling
In China, people use WeChat Pay for everything from bicycle rentals to pizza. The digital wallet platform is now entering the U.S. market, including at a limited number of Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas. (Tencent Holdings)

Next time you visit Las Vegas, you might be able to leave your credit cards at home. Many hotel-casino resorts along the city's famed Strip now let guests use their digital wallets to pay for their room, meals and more — but not for gambling.

MGM Resorts has begun accepting various digital forms of payment at nearly all points-of-sale at its 12 Vegas properties (though there are some limitations at Circus Circus). The company has been installing the needed equipment for seamless transactions over the past three months. Instead of cash or credit cards, MGM Resorts' guests can now use Android Pay, Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Samsung Pay.

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Caesars Entertainment has begun rolling out WeChat Pay at Caesars Palace (above) and other Vegas properties.
Caesars Entertainment has begun rolling out WeChat Pay at Caesars Palace (above) and other Vegas properties. (Dave Burk)

Caesars Entertainment last week launched WeChat Pay, a mobile electronic pay platform that's huge in China and poised to expand its U.S. presence.

As with other digital payment platforms, WeChat Pay technology is pretty simple. After downloading the app and linking it to a bank account, consumers simply scan their unique QR code to make a purchase. All transactions in Las Vegas are in U.S. dollars.

Handheld scanners are now available at 16 locations at Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas and the Linq Promenade. Guests can use WeChat Pay for everything from a meal at the Bacchanal Buffet to tickets for shows.

WeChat Pay is currently the only digital wallet program available at Caesars' 11 Las Vegas resorts. A spokesman said the company plans to expand to other properties next year. In China, hundreds of millions of people already use WeChat Pay for everything from bicycle rentals to hospital expenses.

"This is the trend," Claire Yang, Caesars' director of international marketing, said in a phone interview from Beijing. "I firmly believe that American customers will adopt digital payments in the future. It's the way to go. Credit cards will become obsolete."

According to a Caesars news release, WeChat Pay has 600 million active users worldwide.

Apple Pay is shown here being used at Disney Store. Apple Pay and other digital wallets are now usable at MGM Resorts along the Las Vegas Strip.
Apple Pay is shown here being used at Disney Store. Apple Pay and other digital wallets are now usable at MGM Resorts along the Las Vegas Strip. (Jason DeCrow/Invision for Disney/Associated Press)

Wynn/Encore and the Venetian/Palazzo resorts don't accept digital payments. A limited number of shops within the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes do welcome electronic wallet users.

And as for hitting the tables or video poker, Caesars and MGM say your electronic wallet can't be used to gamble. You'll still need cash.

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