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Casino Cage Layouts and Equipments

An overview of a typical cage layout and equipment will provide the reader with an insight to many standard items located within the cage.

Cashier's Window. It is staffed by front-line cashiers whose primary duties are to conduct customer transactions. Each cashier is provided a shift-opening cash bank containing various denominations of currency and coin.

This bank, normally provided by the main vault, is operated on an imprest system. Since all transactions are either at par (that is, exchanging chips for cash; encashment of personal, payroll, or traveler's checks) or, in the case of payouts to casino departments, supported with cash disbursement slips, the cashier's bank must balance the end of a shift.

The cashier can be held responsible for shift shortages.

Service Windows. Depending upon the size of the casino and complexity of transactions, a variety of possibilities are available. For example, a specific window may be designated for the purpose of providing table chip fills and credits to the casino pit.

Another window may be designated specifically for employee services, such a issuing and receiving bar banks, food banks, and beverage banks, as well as banks for various casino revenue departments, (for example, Race and Sports Book, Keno, Bingo, lounge, showroom, hotel front desk).

Still, other windows may be responsible for handling customer marker transactions. Conversely small casinos may find it practical to operate with two or three customer windows and simply designate a separate window to handle all other required transactions.

Work Counters. One or several work counters may be located at the rear or sides of the cage, but away from the cashiers or service windows. They are provided to allow cashiers a suitable work area for preparing numerous forms and reports required during a shift.

Storage Cabinets. Above and below work counters or on other wall areas will be found cabinets used for storing reserve chips, casino forms, and a variety of supplies. Smaller casinos may entrust responsibility to the cage for storage and security of key or sensitive documents.

Surveillance Cameras. Located in strategic areas of the cage interior are ceiling or wall-mounted surveillance cameras that are monitored on a 24-hour basis by the surveillance department.

The system records an all chip fill and credit transactions, as well as all customer-cashier transactions.

Alarm System. A wide array of alarm systems is available for use within the cage. Most are silent systems, and all cage personnel must be familiar with procedures to be followed in the event of an attempted robbery.

Safe Deposit Boxes. Safety deposit boxes are available to customers wishing to entrust cash or valuables to the casino's cage. Customers wishing to obtain a safety deposit box must complete a data record form that is maintained by the cage.

Key Board or Key Panel. The cage may be entrusted with the possession, control, and issuance of a large assortment of keys. Typically, these keys allow access to gaming table drop boxes, the soft count audit room, the hard count audit room, the coin storage room, the drop box storage room, cash register audit tapes, and slot machines.

Keys identifies as 'sensitive' must be controlled and issued via strict internal control procedures.

Phone System. Depending upon the casino's requirements, three to four counter or wall-mounted phones are available.

Many casinos utilize phones that are activated by lifting the receiver and pushing a designated button or number that will instantly ring to the casino pit, casino manager's office, controller's office, cage manager's office, or other frequently called area of the casino.

Lock Box for Fills/Credits. Casinos utilizing a hand written process for table fills and credits must comply with strict controls.

Time and Date Stamp Machines. Insertion of forms, slips, documents, customer checks into the machine's slot will automatically imprint date and time of the transaction. A cage axiom states, if in doubt... time and date stamp it.'

Coin and Currency Processors. Vacuum counters, coin jet sorters, currency counters, and counterfeit currency detectors are now commonly used in all sizes of casino cages. They were adopted to provide faster service and more efficient and accurate work, and cage personnel are expected to become more proficient in their usage.

Computer Terminals. The age of modern technology has affected large and small casino cages. Cage computer terminals are now linked to the casino pits, the credit manager, the central office, the controller's office, and any casino department justifying this type of interface.

Request for table fills and credits; customer credit status; marker controls, and customer, data, and master-game-report from entries are just few of the transactions that may be completed through cage computer terminals.

Miscellaneous. Check encoders, ATMs, and word processors are all realities in the daily operations of today's casino cage.