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A Typical Day in the Casino, from the Money’s Perspective

June 21, 2017 When we visit casinos, we’re usually feeling lucky, feeling desperate, or looking for a break in our normal routine. We have at least a vague idea of how much we are spending and winning, but we’re rarely aware of how money makes its way through a casino every day. That’s why we thought it’d be fun to look at what a typical day in a casino looks like from the perspective of all that cash.

As a follow-up to our recent article about Casino Security Procedures Used to Prevent Heists, today we’re looking at the revenue a casino makes and how casinos store their money with secure money bags.

Money in Slot Machines

Let’s say you start your casino night out by putting $20 into a slot machine. Using counterfeit detection sensors, that bill is screened for authenticity before you receive credits to play the machine.

Your $20 is stored in a drop box to be counted later, and the number of drops and count times varies from one casino to the next. Gaming Control Board standards typically require at least three people to be present at a drop, with security onsite as staff members unlock the slot machines and pick up the cash boxes.  

Money at Table Games

Table games like poker and blackjack use chips as an alternative to money in casinos. Dealers look manually for counterfeit bills since there is no electronic detection step. A question that many people have is what happens to the cash put into a game when it is converted into chips. The dealer will place the money in a locked drop box at the table and give you the corresponding amount in the form of chips.

These chips are tracked to thwart robbery attempts in case they are attempted to be used later or at another casino. Drops for table games typically occur more frequently because more money is being played with. Security cameras and surveillance agents monitor these drops in real time and on video.

Keeping Money and Equipment Secure and Organized

One thing that helps casinos keep cash separated for different purposes and from different games is color-coded money tracking bags. These are tamper evidence bags that have a clear chain of custody label and a seal that will reveal untimely or unauthorized opening. Casinos also use highly specialized industry bags for cards, dice, and tiles. These bags help the casino management team keep track of dealer and supervisor information, cash amounts, shift changes, and table numbers.

From the slot machines and gaming tables, cash and chips are transferred to a count room to run the money through a currency counter and then sort it by bill type. Counterfeit bills that somehow made it through initial inspection are now separated. A report is generated from the count of money earned from the day and sent to the accounting department at the casino for recordkeeping. Although safes and vaults still exist in casinos, most of the cash flow process is electronic these days. Finally, the counted money is loaded onto a truck to deposit in the bank! However, gaming commissions typically require casinos to have enough cash in reserve to cover each and every chip in play on its floor at all times.

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