Some casino players have heard of TITO, but don’t know what it means. TITO stands for “Ticket In, Ticket Out” and it was part of a revolution in how slot machines are played, which over time has led to evolutions in the games themselves.
Originally, slots would be a multi-step process where you’d put coins in, pull the handle or press the button, and if you win, coins would come out. The first big step forward was the ability for the machine to maintain a credit count. Now, you could put in coins, and choose to leave them in when you win. Bills further improved this process – you could put a $20 bill into the machine instead of 80 quarters, for instance.
The TITO system completed the picture, and was one of the core reasons smaller denomination machines, such as penny machines, could become viable. A player could now cash out receiving a ticket instead of coins, and then move on to another machine and put the same ticket in to keep playing. No longer did players have to carry around cups of coins and deposit them in, or to to the cashier to get bills to start over.
Sometimes players will refer to the actual ticket as a TITO, but the name officially is to describe the system in which tickets are read and printed.
For those newer to casinos it may seem slow and bizarre to put coins into a slot machine and play, but in December I had the experience of doing it at Circus Circus and it was fun playing quarter slots and putting coins in. Every time I would win I would hit the cashout button just to hear the coins clink into the hopper. For some players it’s a fun experience to play the coin machines, and in a few Vegas casinos they’re still around, although slowly they’re disappearing.
The TITO system is highly efficient, removing the need to load coins into slots, and simplify the money management within the casinos. It was a key development that has changed how casinos operate, and has become a common term in the industry.