Do Slot Machines Accept Cash?

Do slot machines accept cash? Things have changed over time. We'll take a look at the history of slot machines and the payment methods that controlled them.

Old Fashioned Machines Required Coins or Tokens

Created in the late-1800s, mechanical slot machines had the nickname One-Arm Bandits. The level connected to springs and bars that controlled the components inside the slot machine. Some controls released the brakes and allowed the reels to spin. The same braking system would snap back against the reels to stop them. There were also arms attached to the payout. If the arm pulled back, coins could release into the change container.

To operate these slot machines, you put in a coin. It went into a tube used to pay prizes when necessary. Excess coins fell to a box below that would be emptied when necessary by the casino operators. These machines wouldn't allow you to pull the level and spin the reels until that coin was in place.

Some of these machines used tokens instead. The tokens were purchased from a cashier and cashed in before leaving the casino.

Modern Day Video Slot Machines Deposit Methods

When you go into a casino today, you usually get a card in exchange for handing over some paper currency. Some slot machines will take the dollar bills you have and allow you to play. At the end of your gaming session, the machine prints up a ticket that you can use to play other slot machines. You can also take that ticket to a cash machine and cash out.

Casinos are packed with ATMs where you can withdraw money and buy the tickets to play casino games. The Ticket-In, Ticket-Out casino slot machines came out in the early-1990s. They were developed by MGM.

These ticketing options, including EZ Pay, make it easier for casinos to operate. Players don't have to worry about casino operators shutting off a machine for a few minutes to refill the jackpots or collect coins. With the ticketing system, games are almost always available. The one issue is that the paper stock used to print the tickets does need to be reloaded.

To eliminate that, some casinos use smart cards. These plastic cards look at lot like credit cards, but they're loaded with cash first when a player enters the casino. It's then used on any of the games. The machines read the strip on the card and computers keep the total of cash used when betting and profits gained with a win.

The smart cards can also be used as parking passes, hotel room keys, and VIP programs. They're an all-in-one card.

How Online Slots Work

Clearly, you can't use coins in an online casino. You have to deposit funds virtually. Casinos have different ways this happens. Some accept credit and debit cards. You join the casino, deposit funds to your account, and play casino games for real money. The bets you make get deducted from your account balance.

When you're from the U.S., credit and debit card companies may not willingly allow you to use those cards in online casinos given the legalities of online gambling in the U.S. For this reason, casinos accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, methods like bank transfers and direct deposits, and others like Eco, Neteller, and Skrill.

If you win money, you go to the online casino's cashier and ask to withdraw funds. The cashier may be able to transfer immediately after processing using methods like Bitcoin. In other cases, it may take a week or two to get a check in the mail.

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