Casino: Cage Department

The casino cage can be described as the nerve center for casino operations, since all financial transactions eventually filter through this department. Also, perhaps more than any department in the casino, the cage must adhere to currency transaction reporting to requirements dictated by the Bank Secrecy Act.

Cage shift managers run the three shifts and control internal operational procedures.

The most visible person to the general public is the cage cashier, who sells casino chips and tokens to casino guests, redeems chips for currency, cashes traveler and personal checks and money orders, and in some instances, sells coin and receives coin from slot players.

Cashiers have control over safety deposit boxes and rent these to players for the safekeeping of valuables. These employees frequently handle all types of guest questions, ranging from casino procedures to locations of restaurants.

Each casino maintains a main bank for the casino bankroll, and a main bank cashier serves as a teller to supply the cage and other cash distribution with currency fills, and accepts incoming cash that will be stored in the casino's vault and eventually deposited in the bank.

Coin cage cashiers keep track of jackpots and fills as well as the amount of money collected by each shift in the slot department. They verify and count cash collected in slot booths and from change persons, they distribute cash for slot jackpots.

They also make change or handle transactions for hotel stores and retail shops as well as hotel restaurants.

Moreover, banks for slot booths and other hotel cashiers are issued from this sub department, and these employees may issue tax forms required when large slot jackpots are won.

Monies won at the casinos' table games are brought to the casino cage in drop boxes by security guards, where the boxes are emptied and counted by a soft count team.

This team consists of three or four employees who are observed by a representative from the casino, or accounting department.

Currency and chips from each game are counted separately and recorded on the master game report, or the 'stiff sheet', and this information is forwarded to the casino manager and controller's office for analysis and distribution to other gaming department heads.

Although pit clerks physically perform their duties in the table game pits, they are considered part of the cage organizational structure.

Essentially, pit clerks act as informational liaisons between the gaming pits and the cage.

Primary duties consist of securing credit information on players, inputing player rating criteria into the computer, accurately recording and balancing player markers and credit transactions, and handling phone conversations between the pit and the cage.

Credit and markers extended to the casino players are eventually controlled and issued by a credit manager.

This employee, working with credit clerks, researches the financial background of customers through contacts with listed lending institutions or central credit and determines the available credit line.

On the other end of the spectrum is the collection manager, who is responsible for collecting markers and credit extensions.

Quite often, terms of payment of large markers are arranged with players (for example, 60 or 90 days). Credit clerks handle the clerical and administrative duties associated with marker collections.

In this department, the coin room collects coin from slot machines, and delivers it to a main room, where the money is sorted, coined, and wrapped for deposit at a bank or recirculation into the casino.

This 'hard count' process is heavily dependent on technology and coin sorting/counting equipment that expedites this money accounting process.

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