Pennies from Heaven

Normally I don’t post about gambling, but in the midnight hour our Nevada State Legislature passed an interesting bill related to slot machines.    Apparently there are millions of dollars in uncashed slot tickets each year.  In the past this was a win for the casino.  The casino was taxed on it as income and that was that.  This new law forces the casinos to turn that money over to the Nevada State Government.  Nice!

For those of you unfamiliar with the slot ticket, slot machines are coinless now.  It started with the indian casinos.  In the rules that made these place legal it was determined that they could not use government currency to make the devices work.   Well this has snowballed into coinless everything.  It turns out you don’t need as many people.   Remember those slot fill attendants with the carts full of sacks of nickels, quarters and dollars.   Gone!

So now you are wondering who would not cash in one of these tickets?   It’s really simple.  Slot machines now count and pay by the lowest denomination of 1 cent.  This was difficult when you had to carry around a bucket of pennies.  But now you can bet 100 lines, one cent each, and up to 20 times each in some cases.  This is not your grandmothers penny machine.   So you have people spending big money in penny slots.  They get down to a few cents that won’t cover a push.  This ticket can be printed out and cashed in at the cash cage or one of the many money changing machines around the casino.  What happens?  People print them out and leave them in ash trays or on the counter  or throw them away!  Now to the individual this is just a few pennies.  But to the casino this translates into hard cash.   Also tickets expire in 30 to 60 days.  Sometimes much larger ticket make it home to never be cashed.  They get hidden in wallets until the gambler gets home.  Chances are you will not return within the expiration time frame.  In the immortal words of Charlie Sheen this is a Win Win for Nevada with estimates as high as $50 million per year.

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