Two years ago, I was at one of my local casinos, on Easter Sunday, a busy day. At one point, I found that a slot machine was having trouble reading my ticket. I put in cash, and when done, cashed out and was given another ticket.
When I went to the next machine, I discovered it, too, was having trouble reading my ticket, but it, too, was fine taking my cash. I then noticed a very long line forming at the cashier window, and I realized what was going on – the ticket reading capabilities of all the machines, including the ticket cashout machines, had failed.
So what do casinos do when this happens? The games still operate, and can accept cash, but each ticket has to be cashed in manually at a handful of cashier windows. For casinos that have shifted their resources into electronic machines vs. staff, it tends to lead to extremely long lines as each stack of tickets is counted on an adding machine as well as paid out by hand.
Given table game players need those same cashiers to be able to trade in their chips, it means virtually all players will be impacted by an outage, and because there’s almost never much clarity about how long the outage will be, you should expect longer gaps if you need to convert tickets to cash, or want to ultimately settle up so you can leave.
Fortunately, such situations are rare, so players shouldn’t expect this to be a normal situation. And many times casinos will attempt to make things right. I received a letter from the casino not long after it happened, apologizing and even giving me tier credits and comp dollars equivalent to what my average visit was, as a way of making sure I didn’t get shortchanged on the trip.