We live in a society of convenience. Whether it’s ordering food or visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles, we simply want to access everything quickly and easily. Casinos are a little behind most businesses when it comes to efficiency but they’ve been slowly catching up.
Sportsbooks in Las Vegas have offered mobile betting for years so gamblers could avoid waiting in line to place a wager. Funding a sports wagering account isn’t for everyone so casinos are offering another option. Sports bettors that don’t want the hassle of signing up for an account can visit a kiosk and avoid some of the waiting.
Last year Red Rock Casino tested a new amenity for blackjack players to access more money to gamble if they want. They added an automated cashless gaming system called PlayOn by a company called Automated Cashless Systems (ACS).
The idea of PlayOn is simple. This new technology allows players the convenience of accessing money to buy more chips at the gaming table. The ATM-like unit allows players to purchase casino chips using a debit card at the table. This eliminates the need to leave the table and use an ATM or visit the cashier’s window between hands.
Of course, this convenience comes with a fee. Right now there’s a $4 flat fee plus 2.5% of the total amount withdrawn to access money without leaving the table. The minimum amount of withdrawal is $50. The maximum is $3,000 depending on the casino.
To learn more about PlayOn, visit the company’s website at acsplayon.com.
Where To Find PlayOn
The PlayOn unit at Red Rock passed its field trial and is now available at more casinos. In fact, every table at The D in downtown Las Vegas has a PlayOn unit. Derek Stevens will add the PlayOn units at Golden Gate casino, his other downtown Las Vegas property, later this year.
Station Casinos, owner of Red Rock, is also offering PlayOn at the gaming tables at Palms. Right now, the only casino on the Vegas Strip offering PlayOn is The Strat. They’re just testing the technology for the time being. Unrelated, The Strat is one of the few casinos in Las Vegas that encourage players at table games to take pictures of their big wins.
Is This Good, Bad, or Whatever?
The price of using PlayOn to access money could be much greater than just $4 plus 2.5%. Being able to obtain money for chips can be dangerous for some gamblers that don’t or can’t manage money carefully.
Make no mistake about it, the 20 second walk to an ATM to get cash gives a gambler time to think about spending more money. The walk can be a deterrent for some people to keep gambling when they shouldn’t. That’s sometimes a good thing when a gambler is running on a losing streak.
Sometimes the combination of adrenaline from gambling and adult beverages makes a person do something they wouldn’t do when thinking normally. The short break away gives gamblers time to think before acting. That can save a player from losing more money.
The access to withdrawing money at the table can be similar to the impulse purchasing an unhealthy candy bar in the checkout line at a supermarket. Your waist says the candy is a bad idea but the access makes it easy to go against your healthier thoughts. This could be the same for money with certain people.
When I was younger and drunker, I would have loved the idea to take money out of the bank when I ran out of cash. It’s taken many years but I no longer have the need to gamble when I’m out of money.
The technology for PlayOn is great for someone that knows how to properly budget themselves. However, not everyone has this skill.
Will you use a PlayOn machine if you run out of money at a table?
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.