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Money Matters

Cash is the engine that drives casinos and technology, and getting it into the hands of the players is on the upswing.

Money Matters

Ease, simplicity and speed, with multibillion-dollar implications.

That’s the realm of cash handling, a simple yet complex gaming-world component. Within the mandate of perpetual instant-funds necessity, companies offer subtle product enhancements, convenient new features and massive rollouts.

The innovations must be economical, user-friendly and tailored to individual properties. Competition is steep, but rewards are substantial. Casinos covet the free-flowing artery of cash, funds or electronic checks. Their wish is a vendor’s command.

An Effective Fleet

These are prosperous times for Everi Payments, credited with the Everi Holdings stock surge over the last year or so. It unfurls several cash-handling products, timed perfectly with ascending world economies.

The company touts solutions to enhance both casinos and patrons. For operators, the RecyclerXchange and CageXchange products help lower cash handling costs by casino/cage staff, while QuikTicket lowers the amount of cash dispensed from a kiosk without reducing funds available to gamblers.

The RecyclerXchange cash recycler removes the need for cashiers and tellers to verify currency. It automatically counts, stores and sorts cash, allowing casinos to maximize cash inventory and tighten controls. RecyclerXchange increases a casino’s ability to flex services and spaces to meet evolving customer demands, company officials say.

How does it work?

Banknotes are placed into the note recycler feeder and passed through the internal bill identifier. Loose coin is placed into either the loose coin counter or the coin recycler and passed through to determine denomination and validity. Cash is then stored in separate internal cassettes and trays for dispensing future transactions.

Everi’s CageXchange cash dispenser speeds up transactions and reduces exposed cash. By eliminating tedious manual cash counting, the product reduces wait times and frees casino staff to perform other cash-room functions.

CageXchange helps improve cage accuracy and stores cash securely, providing additional protection of funds while reducing counting and balancing times, Everi officials say. With a space-saving design, it easily fits under standard-height teller windows, making cash access quick and convenient for casino staff.

A dispenser is placed between two cashier locations, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in required teller drawers. The dispenser is loaded with banknotes under dual control. Currency is distributed based on amount passed to the device through a web service call from integrated software, such as Everi’s CashClub.

Officials say this product reduces vault buy times by up to 90 percent, and that duties can be handled by a single cashier.

The QuikTicket transaction is authorized as a point-of-sale debit purchase. When QuikTicket is offered, and upon bank approval, a gaming ticket is given to use as casino currency.

An effective alternative to ATM cash withdrawals and cage-processed POS transactions, QuikTicket lowers casino operating expenses and helps reduce the chances for counterfeiting and theft, according to company spokesmen.

For players and customers, the company features Everi Cares Giving Module and CashClub Check Services. Everi Cares Giving Module enables one to donate all or part of a ticket, at the end of play, to charity. It also reduces cash and coin dispensed from the machines. CashClub Check Services gives players an opportunity to withdraw funds directly from their checking account.

Everi and Casinos Care have teamed up to manage the accurate collection and distribution of funds for select nonprofit organizations. Casinos Care works directly with all 501(c)(3) organizations interested in participating in the giving module by conducting full fiscal diligence on all charities and entering into a marketing agreement with them.

CashClub Check Services automates the check acceptance process, giving operators greater check-cashing capabilities and casino cage overhead. Everi assumes all risk associated with properly accepted returned checks. Its proprietary FlexChex feature grants patrons a 24-hour check-cashing limit. This is designed to eliminate patron frustration and improve casino cage efficiency.

Self-service check cashing provides casino patrons with the flexibility and convenience of cashing checks electronically at Everi’s full-service kiosks, rather than at the cage, after an initial enrollment through CashClub Check Services. Players can enroll multiple checking accounts, and are informed when additional funds are available.

Keep Counting

Germany’s CountR GmbH obtains more with gains with TITA, a product small enough to fit at every gaming table, big enough financially to justify its presence. The company landed a substantial Oklahoma casino deal last year with its revolutionary innovation. TITA made employees, not players, the prime users.

The product is a micro ticket-redemption machine, allowing casinos to issue and redeem tickets for table-game play. With the device installed at a table game, casinos can validate tickets and display their amount, accept tickets at a table game to be partly exchanged for chips and issue and print tickets in exchange for chips.

TITA has two major connection modules. Operators can scan tickets above the table and print tickets below.

The company reported new growth in the wake of a recent full rollout, and entered 2018 with a bullish forecast, according to Chris Bennett, its vice president for the Americas.

In mid-2017, he told GGB that TITA, five years in the making, had 3,000 orders pending. On the compliance and installation level, CountR continues to advance, he says.

“The CountR TITA technology was accepted during 2017 in many state and tribal casinos,” Bennett asserts. “We are able to successfully communicate with almost all slot and table game systems. To provide casinos more options, we have new solutions for small, medium and large properties. The beauty of the TITA is that a casino can ‘mix and match’ TITA models within the property to provide the best solution for each area’s need.”

The original TITA is the “Silver.” This is the android scanner with the undertake or vertical printer, he indicates. The “Gold” TITA has the JCM TBV note acceptor, which will allow 30 pieces of currency/tickets per pass and reject suspect notes and stacks media, just like a slot. The “Platinum” version uses either printer. It process 720 pieces of tickets/currency per minute with the ability to hold up to 8,000 pieces. These models can be mixed within the casino, depending on table/pit need for optimal flexibility and cost savings, he says.

Bennett calls TITA one of the most revolutionary products he’s ever distributed. It maintains the pace of the game, keeps one currency running throughout the property and helps employees engage more customers, thereby increasing the possibility for tips.

TITA was the first GLI-approved ticket redemption system for table games, according to CountR Chief Financial Officer Dominik Winau, who co-founded the company in 2003. TITA can be retrofitted to any gaming table in any casino. It consists of an on-table device as small a cellular phone, and an under-table device with logic and a ticket printer, he asserts.

He considers the benefits abundant. Players no longer must take chips to the cage to get cash. They can take a ticket from the dealer at the table and go to the next table, slot or a ticket redemption unit. Players do not leave the gaming area or get bored waiting in line at the cage.

The patron can play at the table directly if he already has a ticket. The buy-in is much faster and safe, Bennett says. Dealers just scan the ticket, with no need to count bills.

More Innovation

Las Vegas-based JCM Global enjoyed an “InFuzion” of success last year. The company obtained a silver medal in GGB’s 17th Annual Gaming and Technology Awards in the “Best Consumer Service Technology” category for its Fuzion product, chosen from a record number of nominations.

The company is a leader in innovative and award-winning automated transaction technologies and solutions. It uses cutting-edge thinking related both to cash handling and TITO, including the presence of Fuzion, which combines areas of operation.

When a slot machine uses the iVizion bill validator and the new GEN5 printer, it can then utilize the new Fuzion technology. With Fuzion, each slot machine can become a multi-line profit center. It has the capability to vend and redeem lottery tickets, and to enable race and sports betting. Fuzion can also facilitate DFS wagering, the casino’s own or a third party.

The product can conduct cross-enterprise promotional couponing for carded and uncarded players. It also can enable real-time currency exchange with rates that can be pre-set in real time. Finally, there’s compliance reliance. Fuzion can streamline the tax processes by printing system-generated forms and delivering required documentation to the customer while the back-end system stores signature forms and other IRS-mandated data.

Fuzion technology and the GEN5 printer help expand TITO capabilities with a faster processor to enable promotional printing and couponing. It can also print dithered graphics, enabling the printing of promotional tickets and other graphics associated with Fuzion technology. That includes printing lottery tickets, race and sports tickets, even tax forms, taking TITO to a new level.

Companies with iVizion and GEN5 will be able to utilize Fuzion, which, among other things, connects bill validators and printers to the casino management system.

Good and Direct

G + D Technology closed 2017 with a significant, multi-faceted rollout.

At G2E, the Germany-based industry stalwart unveiled the BPS M3 and BPS C2 for a unique, two-pronged market delivery.

It targeted BPS C2 for properties looking to utilize a small machine for the back office, cage or count room and BPS M3 for operators who can utilize large products. Gaming continues to be a significant venue for this establishment, which also partners with central banks, financial institutions, banknote printers and cash-in-transit companies. G + D officials say it has printed more than 135 trillion banknotes and has a presence in more than 150 countries.

The BPS C2 system sorts at a consistently high speed of 1,050 banknotes per minute, checking the authenticity of banknotes, and can read serial numbers if required. Sensors detect the banknotes’ denomination, orientation and fitness for circulation, while recognizing potential counterfeits. The work steps required to operate the machine can be reduced to a minimum, officials say.

Versatile and secure interfaces also allow easy, seamless networking of the system with customized environments, cutting-edge tools and applications, as well as web services in the cash management process.

The BPS C2 aptly fits commercial banks, cash-in-transit companies and casinos that want to enhance their cash processing activities.

What about the big machines? BPS M3 builds upon the success of BPS M5, an ongoing product still viable in the market. This addition to the product line provides some economic flexibility.

Rising cash volumes and increasing outsourcing by central banks forecast a rise in the amount of cash commercial centers will process. This requires solutions offering optimum productivity, security and efficiency.

The BPS M3 high-performance system is the company’s response. Equipped with the new NotaScan InOne sensor, the system counts, checks, registers and sorts up to 76,000

banknotes per hour, along with banding them. This reduces manual work steps to a minimum, officials say. The manpower and time required to operate the system are correspondingly low, while security is enhanced.

The design of the BPS M3 offers an operation via touch screen. In addition, the singler has a capacity of up to 4,000 banknotes to ensure constant processing. Following the tradition of high-speed systems from G + D, the BPS M3 offers several options for customizing the system itself, as well as pre- and post-processing solutions.

The benefits include high productivity. An ergonomic design and advanced user interface make the system easy and intuitive to use.

The BPS M5 is the system for commercial applications. As successor to the BPS 1000 (with over 1,400 installations worldwide), it processes mixed denominations of banknotes with different formats and substrates. The system achieves speeds of up to 33 banknotes per second (around 120,000 banknotes per hour), even in continuous operation: 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Casinos constantly monitor their cash and funds lineup. Money must be available to customers, but can’t idle in ATMs. It must be readily available, yet safe from hacking. And that process must be seamless, almost an afterthought.

Operators juggle several considerations. One is customer service. Another is streamlined production, along with the need for increased internal efficiency. Products addressing them must justify the space they occupy.

For companies that fill these needs, it’s an exciting, lucrative balancing act.

Casino Connection Sports Editor Dave Bontempo is an award-winning sports writer and broadcaster who calls boxing matches all over the world. He has covered the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs, as well as numerous PGA, LPGA and Seniors Golf Tour events, and co-hosted the Casino Connection television program with Publisher Roger Gros.

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