Some people don’t want a check. Some people just want cash.
Ever wondered how the casino cashes out large amounts if the gambler prefers cash? The simple and short answer is that, if you want cash, they just give you cash, regardless of how large the cash out. Most US casinos are required by their relevant jurisdictions to have enough cash to cover their chips in circulation.
If you’re curious, like me, and want to know more, read on. Casino procedures interest me.
First, if the amount is usually over $1000-$2000, the cage will ask for some form of ID. Without your ID for tax reasons, they won’t cash out your chips.
If the amount is over $10,000 per day, on the aggregate, they’ll also ask for your social security number.
Then the cashier will call for security clearance. Sometimes, before calling security, they’ll ask you where you got the chips.
Now to the cash out part that involves purely cash, when after you and your chips have been cleared.
If you’ve ever cashed out casino chips, you know they count each bill. Wouldn’t it take quite a while to count out $100,000 or more?
It’s actually quite easy if the amount is in $50,000 or $100,000 increments. They give you a sealed pre-counted brick like this. According to the cage manager, these bricks are counted while under surveillance and are always correct.
So cashing out $100,000 is actually easier and faster than cashing out $10,000.
For $10,000, they give you a strap of cash, called a ‘mustard’ strap (so-called because of the mustard color of the band). But first, since the strap is not sealed, they have to run it through an automatic sorter first. Afterward, in my experience, the cashier doesn’t then bother to count it by hand. They just hand you the strap, typically. The exception is if you ask for a count.
The next easiest thing to cash out is either $5000 or $2000 in chips. There are straps of $5000 and $2000, but unlike the $10,000 strap, where the casino cage just gives you the $10,000 strap after the machine count, the casino will manually count out, by hand to you, even after the automatic machine count. My suspicion for this practice is that the cashiers like to count out the smaller straps because there is the increased possibility of a tip, especially if the cash out amount is something like $4004.
If you don’t want the cage to count out the bills, you can tell them that you trust the machine count. However, I’ve had instances where I’m in a rush, and I tell the cashier that I’ll trust the machine, only to be rebuffed by most cashiers who insist on a hand count of an odd amount. I’ve been told that it’s for the eye in the sky because allegedly, they’ve had customers come back and say a bill was missing.
The amount that takes longest to cash out is something odd like $7500. Because since there is no pre-made strap, and even if the amount is exactly $7000, they won’t just give you a $5000 strap and a $2000 strap. They’ll count out the seventy-five $100 bills.
Note that in the event you have a lucky day at the casino, the casino cashier will have the following straps ready.
Here is a strap that I have never ever been given in a casino. I had to ask for it, and the cashier handed it over, without counting it out.
All the colors for the straps above are universal, at least in the US. So if you ask for a purple strap, the cashier will know that you’re asking for $2000.
Oh, and just so you know, I don’t carry this cash on me. I turn it into the cage when I leave the property.
…and now you know.