Show me the money!

(and the tickets)

The currency of casinos is changing. But how do operators choose between cash, TITO, or a careful balance of all available options in order to keep customers happy and machines busy?  InterGaming spoker to some of the leading experts in the cash handling and transactions sector for a snapshot of the latest trends, recent development and the direction in which this crucial part of the industry is heading..

Robert Bird, Microcoin:

“In recent years, there has been a rapid shift to TITO  which has happened quicker than most anticipated. Therefore, coin-in demand has dropped and note ticket has increased. Although many machines are being provided with the  coin-in ‘capped[‘, i.e. no coin head, some still keep the coin handling hardware installed just in case coin-in is required at some future stage. There appears to be evidence that some casinos are re-introducing coin as a cash in option; however, there is no hopper payout with coins going directly to the cash drop and ticket being the payout method. “Casinos are a business- they will continue look at any means to handle transaction which will keep players at the machine and maximize their gains. As previously mentioned, coins may be making a small comeback. Why eliminate a means of cash input if a player has the opportunity   and desire to use it?

     “TITO may be well developed as a technology but I think there may still be a way to go before it is fully accepted by the player. Some casino developments outside  of the US are  watching how TITO will perform   in their neck of the woods before deciding upon the direction they will take. Personally, I don’t see cashless casinos appearing in the near future. Playing a slot machine is a process and a profession to some but entertainment factor encompasses the experience of playing a machine, from ‘feeding’ in your money, to playing the game and waiting in anticipation for the win. If you take away some of the elements of the experience, like inserting your money, you could be removing the fun and who wants to play something which isn’t fun?”


Speed does matter GPT is reporting great results with its fast validating SA-4, which has already been installed in casinos in Europe, the Far East and South America. Excellent feedback on this product is continuing to come in from these markets, especially from areas such Macau, where the SA-4 continues to storm the market. The new generation SA-4 Bill Validator is a leader in the market of bill acceptors; at approximately two seconds this is the fastest validation and stacking time in the business. This fast cycle time coupled with the SA-4’s high security, low maintenance, new four-way barcode reader and free software downloads, makes the SA-4 ideal for the gaming market.   The SA-4 is a drop in retrofit for the GPT’s Argus unit, and GPT is offering free trials to operators who wish to trial the SA-4 in their gaming machines.

Robert Dunn, operations director of GPT Europe, says : “We want to encourage operators to trials the units so that they can see for themselves the great results we have seen with the SA-4. Operators who have trialed  these units so far have seen the excellent fast validation and stacking rates improve the performance of their money in as quick as possible, and that can only be good for the operator. ” “SA-4 upgrades are going like hot cakes in Russia. “The demand is high enough for us to start plans for assembly of this product in Moscow, where we have already been assembling the Auroa for a year. ” GPT has also recently targeted end users to ensure that they   have received all the customer support they need for GPT products. GPT wants to ensure that all customers are aware of and regularly visit the GPT website for technical information, support and software updates. The SA-4 continued to wow at the recent Asian Gaming Expo. GPT is now shipping the SA-4 as standard into Macau and is continuing to do well in this game market and others in the Far East.

Boris Gitin, cash Code:

“Cashcode, the international manufacturer of currency validation technology, has designed the gaming industry’s first true multi-width product line features a modular concept, self-centering money transport guides, country-specific ‘sense-a-click’ Sensor Packs, easy-to-upgrade flash smart stick memory, a replaceable power supply/interface communications module and built-in-triple locking cassettes. CashCode’s lockable-removable cassettes stack bills with minimal movement to the stack mass, eliminating bowing and jamming, reducing power consumption, creating more stacking capacity and adding more savings to the bottom line.

     “In January 2006, crane Co. Company of the US purchased CashCode. Crane is also the parent company of National Rejectors, Inc. GmbH. NRI is one of the leading European manufacturers of coin validators, coin changers and cashless payment systems (‘smart card’) for various applications. NRI offers complete turnkey solutions focusing on gaming, vending, amusement, cigarette and ticketing industries. With offices, distribution and service networks, NRI covers 47 countries worldwide.
     “Together CashCode and NRI are able to offer a full and innovative range of bill and coin validators, coin hoppers. With a reputation built on strong mechanical design, cutting edge software and highly sophisticated sensing technology our customers benefit from high acceptance rates, superior protection against fraud and low maintenance costs. Continued product excellence, customer satisfaction and ingenuity in cash-handling design drives NRI & CashCode to offer the best products imaginable. We are committed to engineering the future of currency validation. ”

Giesecke & Devrient:

With the self-service system Caion, its casino all-in-one terminal, G&D is extending its casino product range. The terminal allows visitors to buy and top up customer cards using cash. When the visitors leave the casino, they can also have any amount that they have won or surplus amount paid out on Caion with their customer cards. G&D has already installed I and tested Caion at several worldwide I locations of American Air Force casinos. The feedback has been extremely positive; the Air Force has already placed a follow up order with G&D.

With Caion, G&D is adapting its product range to the newest trends in the casino market: cash is increasingly being replaced with customer cards or tickets. Long lines at the cashier's desk results in increased time at the slot machines and a negative effect on revenue and customer satisfaction. Caion helps reduce cash handling costs, and to reduce the costs of cash handling at casinos, winnings are being paid out more and more in the form of vouchers (cash-out tickets) or cards instead of cash. Chip or magnetic stripe cards can be loaded at the Caion terminal. The customer inserts banknotes into the terminal and the corresponding amount is then credited to the customer's account. This allows cardholders to play at any of the appropriately equipped machines, with winnings being credited to the card. Before leaving the casino, the balance can be redeemed in cash, either partially or in one lump sum.
The trend towards the cashless casino is certain to catch on. The drive to reduce the time and expense of cash handling can be broken down into two stages. The first step was the payout of winnings in the form of vouchers known as cash-out tickets. The cash-out tickets can be redeemed either through casino staff or by casino visitors themselves using Caion. The second measure likely to gain in significance is the electronic transfer of winnings to enable players to use cards instead of cash or tickets to play at appropriately equipped slot machines. Giesecke &- Devrient is based in Munich, Germany, and is an international technology group operating subsidiaries and joint ventures throughout the world. Founded in 1852, G&-D began as a printer of securities and later specialized in banknote production. The company has been developing solutions and complete systems for automatic currency processing since 1970.

Hess :

Hess ’ Polaris Redemption Centre in casinos and arcades is winning a reputation as a 'must have' product. The modular unit is designed to be flexible. “We make Polaris units in shapes and sizes and with add-ons to the customer's specification,” says new business manager Erik de Kat, “and while there are other products that can do some of the same functions, no-one does them all, and no-one can react as quickly to special needs, short delivery times and smaller numbers. ”
Polaris will take the place of the change desk, freeing up the staff to take care of other functions on the gaming floor. It is totally automated, takes less space and doesn't make mistakes. It breaks bills, accepts coins in and out, tokens in and out, bills in and out, pays jackpot prizes and acts as an ATM. It can count 2,500 coins a minute. “I see as one of the top sales angles with Polaris the fact that it is anonymous,” adds de Kat. “A major player often prefers that no-one knows what he is spending or what he is winning; that’s impossible if he goes to a desk which is staffed. With a redemption centre he can take care of his needs without being obvious De Kat has a history in the money handling business, having founded Veka Systems in the Netherlands, which was acquired by Suzo International and is now absorbed into the Suzo business.

Taking Hess into new markets is key for de Kat. He has been working on the Central America and South America markets and recently set up a distribution centre in Argentina. Hess was founded in 1885, producing shoe repair equipment. It began to produce shoe-polishing machines in the 1950s for which coin operation was added, encouraging the company to make its own coin acceptor. Coin changing devices followed in the 1960s and the change in the company’s direction was underway. In the 1980s, the company began to develop automated money handling equipment and currency changers, which established the company as a leading player in the market. Polaris will handle card transactions and TITO, redeeming either and loading cards as well as bill-breaking and, jckpot payouts. The new Polaris Satellite is a compact unit that will work with the kiosk uploading cards, breaking bills or selling/validating tickets. The unit is now being tested for several months before it is released on to the market.

It also has the Procoin line, from Chinese manufacturer South, one of the world's biggest makers of money handling equipment. Hess is its European distributor for back-of-house money processing machines for bingo halls, casinos and the amusement industry. “The arcade owners seemed to realize the potential of redemption centers, that they bring security by not having any human failings such as dishonesty or mistakes. They also save on change desk staffing and take up far less room. It also means that the staff can spend more time looking after the players on the arcade floor rather than giving change. ”