To the average American, a shortage of coins is likely not a big deal, seeing as you can pay for most things these days with your card or mobile wallet.
However, for the El Cortez Casino, the oldest casino in Las Vegas, the coin shortage has company officials worried for business.
Could COVID put an end to the world of coin slots? It’s looking like a possibility!
Not Enough Coins Moving Around
People do all sorts of things with their coins, from putting them in coin presses at monuments to throwing them in fountains.
With the COVID pandemic hitting businesses in different ways, coins haven’t been moving around in the same way that they used to, meaning they’re not making it back to the banks as fast as needed.
So, for casinos such as the El Cortez that has a huge bank of coin slot machines, the fact that there’s a shortage of coins moving around is rather problematic.
Around 113 of the casino’s slots accept coins, and now the casino is having to update procedures in order to keep the coins moving and the good times rolling.
The casino usually has a stash of around $120,000 in coins, but to help stem the spread of COVID, it deposited all but $30,000 back in March.
Now, this is all it has left, and when it ordered $30,000 more when it reopened, the delivery men could only give the casino $500.
This is down to the fact that the coins aren’t moving around the country fast enough.
To try and remedy the situation, the US Mint is going to increase output from 1 billion coins per month to 1.65 billion coins per month to try and remedy the situation
Updating Procedures to Fight the Battle
In a bid to keep as many of its coins moving as possible, the El Cortez has cut the 5% fee on cashout desks for coins and now empties the machines daily, as opposed to weekly.
Should the casino face a desperate coin shortage, these machines will begin to be emptied multiple times per day.
But, this could prove to not be enough, with many people opting to take their winnings in coins back home with them.
If the situation persists and the El Cortez does end up running out of coins, we could see it move to cut the coin machines from its property.
If this is the case, we’d see modern machines take their place that accept cards instead, the preferred slot machine type on the Las Vegas strip.
COVID Crippling Casinos
Around the globe, COVID has brought the entertainment industry to its knees, with the UK having to push back opening dates for casinos.
This unforeseen situation with the coins could bring about the end of an era, turning coin slots into a thing of the past.
It will be a sad day for the casino world once these 113 slots are relegated to the scrap heap, but it’s an event that’s on the cards should the situation not improve.