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Best of Gayle Mitchell

Gaming Guru

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The Death of Coins..say it ain't so...

1 October 2001

Lately, I find that my dreams of generous slot jackpots while carrying buckets of coins around my favorite casinos are at odds with the dreams of casino management. The ''sound of rain'', as my Mom says -- coins falling into the metal holder--going, going, gone? Listening for that familiar winning sound around you to determine if you selected a winning casino-going? or "do I choose 2 or 3 coin slots"-gone?

The news bandied about for the last year; and in some cases implemented, is that casino management dreams are focused on 'cashless' slots. What nonsense! Following are the options that are on the table as per casino management, (c.m.) or cut moneybuckets in my glossary.

Tokenization: nothing new here, the Aussies have been using this system forever and have implemented this on their own Aristocrat bonus video slots that can offer 20+ paylines. A single dollar coin or token is used for all denominations; e.g., a single token in a quarter machine produces 4 credits for play or 20 nickels. When cashing out, odd amounts are dispensed via the hopper.

Sounds simple and clean, however what's to stop cashless momentum (c.m.) from installing only dollar slots if the thinking is that all slot players are now dollar players----your wager management plan has now flown out the window and the price of gaming just increased.

Caring management are soooo concerned that you are lugging around those heavy buckets of nickels when you could easily carry a rack of 100 tokens----anyone convinced?

I buy 5 rolls of nickels or quarters, not heavy at all, and play a row of basic slots until I find one that gives more than it receives. When I fill those buckets to the top, it's no chore, but downright fun to 'lug' them to the nearest cashier window. Should I lose this 5 roll purchase, and this indeed happens; it is time for a break at that point, to re-evaluate my wagering plan. Do I move to another part of the casino floor? another casino? video poker perhaps? or is it shopping or dining time? Even the most disciplined player would find it difficult not to continue dipping into that rack of dollar tokens at their disposal.

Ticket Printers: in many parts of the country, particularly Indian casinos; this method is common place. Different systems pay off in scrip or cash register receipts. What is to be done with this piece of paper when it's printed and in your hand? Can you go to another slot? another denomination? what if the amount does not divide evenly into another denomination? e.g. $35.75 cannot be played evenly at a dollar slot. Do I have the distinct pleasure of standing in a cashier or ATM line with 20 other people to cash out? That's not an exaggeration; this envisioned 'supreme' casino floor will eliminate nearly all change carts and those very friendly people who maneuver them. Is it printed to be user-friendly? or will I mistake it for my latest grocery purchase and trash it?

One thing, of which I am certain -- playing the 'hit and run' method of 3-5 pulls and moving on is out, unless I in a ticket collection mood; plus inserting cash (dare I use that word) into bill acceptors of a bank of slots is too costly in the short term.

Smart Cards: lay your money down, get a card, insert into machine - winnings added, losses subtracted -- head to ATM kiosk to cash out.

Hmmm, but, but, what if I forget my card in a machine, like I have many times with a slot club card? What if the card does not register properly and my wins are not added? Is there a possibility of human error or computer error? Hands up those people whose banks or credit card companies have never made a mistake with their credit or debit cards? Hmmm, didn't think so. Does anyone else remember that these so called 'smart cards' failed miserably at the Atlanta Olympics? Have they suddenly gained acceptance? ---certainly not by casino patrons.

What is wrong with the status-quo? Change is not always good; although, in this case, change as in coins in a bucket has always been good. Slot players could still carry their buckets or coin rolls, and yes, bill acceptors have their place especially for the 9+ line bonus video slots. However, let us make the decision as to whether we want to insert a 10, 20 or 50 buck bill and for crying out loud, give us coins back at the push of the cash-out button -- not some bizarre casino scrip or receipt that will get lost with real live currency in our wallets. I can hear the currency manipulators wailing about the high overhead of handling all this coinage and how these same employees could be better utilized as customer liaisons rather than changing or cashing out monies. Pullleeeze, why don't we just organize a telethon for c.m.'s?

It's interesting to note that Las Vegas is very slow in implementing any of the above changes because the majority of casino players are tourists who visit a couple of times a year and they do not want these changes. Happy to see that the majority rules in this gambling capital.

This rant of mine does have a serious concern; which is slot players' speed or rhythm of play and how it affects the gambling bankroll. I have long been an advocate of pacing your play and stretching your bankroll for a more enjoyable casino experience. Hoppers empty, coins jam, 'call attendant' signs flash and you need more coin rolls; all these events slow you down enough to take a break, relish that moment or that particular win. I can't help but theorize that with a cashless environment, the pace would quicken allowing a frantic stream of tokens, scrip or 'smart cards' and before you can say "give me a bucket of coins" your gambling bankroll has disappeared. Do ya think that the cashless monitors know this will happen...duh?

If you agree with me concerning this cash-gone scenario, I implore you to state your case loudly and clearly to slot hosts, change people and casino management.

I am not ready to turn in my bucket and the dirty hands were earned and regarded as a reflection of my latest battle on the casino floor. Spinners and handle-pullers unite...keep the magic..the crusade continues.
Gayle Mitchell

Gayle Mitchell, one of the first women to break through the “felt ceiling” of the previously male-dominated world of casino gambling gurus, is now regarded as one of North America’s leading experts on casino gambling.

Gayle’s commitment to educating the gambling public began almost 20 years ago, when she walked into a Las Vegas casino and experienced for the first time the thrill that comes with winning even a small bet. She made up her mind then and there to learn every game in the casino, and a short time later resolved to make a career out of sharing her insights with other gamblers. She had always considered herself to be a good teacher – she believes in keeping things simple – and decided that she would commit herself to showing newbies how to become knowledgeable, intelligent gamblers.

Gayle started her own publishing company, and her first book came out in 1997. Today she is the author of seven books, seven EBooks, and a set of five Tips booklets, and has presented many seminars on casino gambling. Currently she teaches Learn to Win Programs with other leading experts at GamblingTeachers.com. The site is a player-friendly Free Gambling Learning Center offering 300+ online lessons for popular casino games plus Gambling Teachers Blog. Gayle also operates www.gamerisms.com, which is a games glossary site for sport, casino, skill and video game players.

“It’s a fact that less than 2 percent of casino players know the profitable, correct strategies and/or rules for most casino games,” Gayle says. “Our group of career teachers and writers are working to improve that statistic.”

Gayle Mitchell Websites:

www.gamblingteachers.com
www.gamerisms.com
Gayle Mitchell
Gayle Mitchell, one of the first women to break through the “felt ceiling” of the previously male-dominated world of casino gambling gurus, is now regarded as one of North America’s leading experts on casino gambling.

Gayle’s commitment to educating the gambling public began almost 20 years ago, when she walked into a Las Vegas casino and experienced for the first time the thrill that comes with winning even a small bet. She made up her mind then and there to learn every game in the casino, and a short time later resolved to make a career out of sharing her insights with other gamblers. She had always considered herself to be a good teacher – she believes in keeping things simple – and decided that she would commit herself to showing newbies how to become knowledgeable, intelligent gamblers.

Gayle started her own publishing company, and her first book came out in 1997. Today she is the author of seven books, seven EBooks, and a set of five Tips booklets, and has presented many seminars on casino gambling. Currently she teaches Learn to Win Programs with other leading experts at GamblingTeachers.com. The site is a player-friendly Free Gambling Learning Center offering 300+ online lessons for popular casino games plus Gambling Teachers Blog. Gayle also operates www.gamerisms.com, which is a games glossary site for sport, casino, skill and video game players.

“It’s a fact that less than 2 percent of casino players know the profitable, correct strategies and/or rules for most casino games,” Gayle says. “Our group of career teachers and writers are working to improve that statistic.”

Gayle Mitchell Websites:

www.gamblingteachers.com
www.gamerisms.com