Unclaimed Slot Tickets Reaping Benefits For Nevada Casinos

A while back, a ‘ticket-in, ticket-out’ (TITO) system was developed for casino slot machines that dispensed with physical cash payouts in favor of a barcoded slip of paper that could be exchanged for money at the venue’s cash kiosk. TITO has a number of advantages over the previous system, including reduced cash handling requirements, but it seems that it has also resulted in a huge extra benefit for both the casino and the state alike, who receive a 25% and 75% split of any unclaimed tickets.
Case in point, over the past five years Nevada gamblers have foregone over $35 million in unclaimed tickets, including $12 million in abandoned tickets in 2016 alone. From that, the state of Nevada received $8.78 million last year which subsequently was sent to the state’s general fund, with the rest going to the casinos.
The Las Vegas Strip typically accounts for more than half Nevada’s gambling revenues, and unsurprisingly it also accounted for the lion’s share of unclaimed slots tickets, or $7 million in the fiscal year 2016. Elsewhere, that figure totalled around $1 million in Downtown, followed by Washoe County ($900k), Boulder Strip ($500k), South Tahoe ($223,275), and North Las Vegas ($193,640).
Despite the casinos not reporting the amount of each individual ticket, it’s fair to assume they are likely of such small amounts that players simply do not bother to cash them. Furthermore, the tickets are anonymous, although those players who possess loyalty cards are able to be connected with unclaimed tickets. Commenting on the situation, Mary Hynes, director of public affairs at MGM Resorts International, explained:
“Sometimes people leave them in the machine, and we find them and we do try to send it to them. If they are a loyalty card holder, we can find that person more easily. If they are still staying with us, we’ll get it to their rooms. If they left town and we know who it is, we’ll mail it to them.”


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