The Specialist Buyers Guide for the Casino Industry
Cummins Allison - Effective solutions for your business
Counting errors and counterfeits are ever-present in casino and gaming operations due to the substantial amounts of currency collected each month. Also, the processing of currency and casino bar code tickets is a time-consuming and laborious task to undertake.
The Cummins Allison JetScan iFX® range of scanners are the only devices that can efficiently handle tickets and currency on the same device, giving you sizable improvements to efficiency and productivity. Processing mixed tickets and cash in one pass while reading and imaging casino tickets can revolutionise your cash room operations.
Increase productivity and profits further by catching costly counterfeits before they are returned to the bank or worse yet, a member. With the JetScan iFX range of scanners you can choose the level of counterfeit detection that meets your needs.
Why buy from Cummins Allison?
Quite simply our solutions make your job easier. Our solutions range from high speed, full-function currency and ticket processors to the highest quality coin products. Virtually any currency-intensive industry can improve their processes with our affordable solutions.
Innovations that change industries:
Cummins Allison is a global technology leader and innovator in document-processing and money-handling solutions. Customers in gaming, amusement, financial, cash-in-transit, retail, law enforcement, government and other organisations rely on Cummins Allison solutions to help them work more efficiently, eliminate errors and improve their processes. A true solution provider with decades of industry experience, we are continually expanding our portfolio to give our customers effective and reliable options for greater performance.
Our portfolio includes:
Uncompromising quality, unparalleled service, nonstop innovation
Cummins Allison reputation for quality solutions, outstanding service, and state-of-the-art technology spans the globe. Raising the bar on innovation and providing unmatched customer support continue to be the life blood of our company.
Cummins Allison - Casino has 2 products.
“People would come to our cashier cage with full bags of coin,” said Eddie Montes, cash operations manager for the premier Morongo Casino, Resort and Spa in Cabazon, California, near Palm Springs. “Processing it was an operational disruption that also produced customer relations problems. Solving those problems was a must. Being able to make money as a result was an added bonus.”
Converting a payload of coins into folding money is something that casinos do as a matter of course, but smart casino operators like Montes know that both the burden of processing, and at least some of the associated costs, can be shifted to the consumer.
A customer with a large container full of coins presents a number of problems for the cashier staff at the cage. For starters, large amounts require a hefty machine to effectively handle the processing, and a hefty person to move it around. At Morongo Casino, Resort and Spa, the big coin processing equipment is in the main vault behind the cashier’s cage.
“As often as not, having a large volume coin customer coming to the cage meant that a cashier’s window would have to be closed while the cashier lugged the bag to the vault,” Montes remarked. “The cashier wasn’t happy because a bag of coins weighs a lot and is difficult to handle. The guest who brought in the coins wasn’t really happy either, because the processing takes some time. But the guests who really were inconvenienced were the ones who happened to be next in line,” Montes continued.
Improving customer service certainly was a prime motivator for finding a solution. And anything the casino could do to make work easier for the staff would be well received, he knew. Could it be possible to eliminate the service aggravations and have the solution turn into a profit center? For Montes it was worth a try.
“I had been approached by people who maintain coin processing kiosks in grocery store lobbies,” Montes explained. “I know that consumers are willing to pay as much as 10 percent of their total piggy bank to convert coins to cash, but I couldn’t buy in to the idea that their company should be the lion’s share of the processing fee money, especially since we already service lots of other money-handling equipment in the casino. We also believed that a lower withholding percentage would translate into better customer relations,” he added.
“After a brief trial period with a Cummins Money Machine installed next to the main cage, we knew we had a solution to all of these problems. Even better, it became a significant profit center in a very short period of time,” Montes remarked.
The Money Machine from Cummins-Allison Corporation is a self-service coin-processing kiosk that boasts the industry’s fastest running speed and most accurate count. It is also widely known for its rugged reliability.
To make sure the machine was highly visible and recognisable, the machine was ordered with appealing CoinMax graphics. Max is a lovable cartoon character with the body of a penny coin. Kids and adults alike form an immediate cognitive connection with the CoinMax illustration and the processing machine it represents.
The machine selected by the Morongo Casino, Resort and Spa counts the coins by denomination and separates them into the machine’s 12 high-volume bagging stations. Whenever a bag reaches its maximum capacity, coins of that denomination are automatically diverted to another bag. This 12-bag configuration keeps machine service time to a minimum and allows careful monitoring of the machine’s available capacity for each coin denomination.
Machine attendants can monitor machine status, including coin intake, fees withheld, number of transactions, collection bag capacity and a host of other data by using the equipment’s touch screen. A paper report also can be printed directly from the machine. The Money Machine touch screen is extraordinarily consumer friendly and on-screen graphics can be modified to suit each establishment’s particular needs. The screen also prompts the user regarding the machine’s use and informs him/her up front about the percentage that will be withheld as a processing fee.
“Although research has shown that consumers will readily tolerate up to 10 percent of the amount of coin being processed as an acceptable fee, we elected to hold our fee to 5 percent,” Montes said. “Guests have told us that the lower fee is the reason they come here instead of going to a retail store coin kiosk.”
The added influx of processed coin from outside sources also has produced a financial side benefit to the casino. Morongo now orders much less coin from the bank because the casino generates a stronger supply of it internally to bulk fill its coin changers.
The decision to buy The Money Machine self-service coin-processing kiosk from Cummins was not taken lightly. The casino demanded a trial period to make sure that the returns would justify the decision. To make sure that the effort would not be compromised by the cashiers in the cage, however, they simultaneously established a policy that requires coin customers to use the machine rather than accepting loose change at the cashier window.
The Money Machine with CoinMax graphics is conveniently located next to the main cage, which makes the coin redemption payout easy. “Our cage team welcomed the opportunity to channel customers to the kiosk instead of having to process coins in the vault. Now those customers simply come to the cashier station with a voucher slip from the machine, and the cashier pays it out. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Montes concluded.
Each month, the machine processes about $65,000 in coin. Montes said that at that rate and with a 5 percent fee, the machine paid for itself in less than seven months.
Faster, more efficient operations has lead to improved customer service for Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, Lemoore, California
“We’ve reduced the vault drop count times and the number of employees needed by 50% each, saving time and money for the casino.” - Ruth Ritchie Director Cage and Vault
Technology simplifies operations..
When it comes to trying new technology, Ruth Ritchie, director cage and vault, likes to be first. The need to bring new solutions into the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino is just one of the reasons she joined the organization. Ritchie believes that technology can make things easier for employees, leading to better customer service.
When considering ways to increase productivity for the vault, kiosk and cage departments, Ritchie says the JetScan iFX platform has revolutionized their operations. “I don’t like anything done manually. I like paperless things, I like technology. Anything I can do to find a time savings, a cost savings, an ease of convenience for my employee, those all equate to better customer service.”
Growing cash and ticket volume
Tachi Palace began as Southgate Bingo Palace in 1983 and has seen substantial growth since then. They still feature a 1,200-seat bingo hall but they’ve added 2,000 Class III slots inside a 775,000 square foot gaming facility.
Since becoming General Manager in 2006, Willie Barrios has focused on enhancing the facility and modernizing the operations, including new ATMs and the TITO system. Managing high volumes of cash and tickets created a new set of challenges for the back of the house and led to the need for new technology.
“Part of the reason we brought the JetScan iFX machines to the property, other than their speed, enhanced counterfeit detection and accuracy, is the ability to do ticketing imaging. We do a tremendous amount of tickets and cash and we’ll be able to run both on the same machine in one pass,” says Ritchie. “We are also working with Cummins Allison to directly deposit our checks to our bank through the JetScan iFX machine.”
Easy to upgrade, easy to use
Tachi Palace chose to implement the complete JetScan iFX portfolio – single pocket, dual-pocket and multi-pocket machines – in part due to its flexibility. Many features are software-based, making changes and enhancements quick and easy. “Using the iFX platform, we no longer have to purchase brand new machines as new technology comes out. We’re able to purchase new software, download it onto our existing iFX platform and upgrade our machines,” states Ritchie.
With a common platform, there is very little training required and that helps employees process transactions faster providing better customer service.
50% time and cost savings in the vault
Vault operations saw immediate results after implementing a JetScan iFX multipocket machine. “It was taking more than eight to ten hours to count the currency we were receiving from soft count so we needed something that was faster and more effective,” reports Shannon Souza, vault manager. “We ran a test and took our old equipment side-by-side with the new iFX machines and we noticed that our old machines were running at 600 notes per minute and our new machines were up to 1,600 notes per minute, so you could tell a great difference in that. It’s actually helped us save time and also cut down on our staff.”
More pockets increase efficiency
Tachi Palace originally tested a seven pocket machine in their vault, but after seeing it run added two more pockets for a total of nine, increasing speed and convenience. “We had a very small learning curve”, said Ritchie, “in less than 15 minutes I had two employees completely running the drop – they got it. Processing a lot of cash every single day, we have been able to reduce our drop count times by 50% and we’ve reduced the employees needed by 50%.”
More savings in cage and kiosk
The cage and kiosk rooms have also benefited from the new technology. The kiosk room was challenged to verify currency quickly enough to keep up with the high demand of the ATMs. According to Kathryn Maltes, cage manager, “A lot of our machines were down and people had to wait and then they would be unhappy. With the new iFX machines, the morale is much better. People are getting their work done faster.”
Back on the front line quicker
Cage shift manager, Regina Enriquez, agrees “It’s been great since the iFX machines came in. They’re a lot faster, they’re a lot more efficient, they help the banking in and out process. We get our cashiers back on the front line quicker and more effectively. The banking time has been cut at least 20 minutes to half an hour per shift. During our 6:00 a.m. drop process, when we count the BVs down, it’s a lot more efficient. We have a high volume of tickets and notes mixed together so we’re able to separate and get those counted out a lot more efficiently with the new machines.”
Built-in expansion and configurability
The JetScan iFX portfolio features single and dual-pocket machines, plus an innovative multi-pocket sorter with a very small footprint. The JetScan iFX i400 multipocket sorter processes currency at 1,000 notes per minute and can be configured with 3, 5, 7 or 9 pockets.
Adding pockets is easy, allowing a casino to start small and grow as needed. Software upgradable to support check imaging, deposit processing and ticket imaging, the JetScan iFX lets you buy what you need today and add more features in the future.1 Combined with advanced counterfeit detection and currency processing at 1,600 bills per minute, the i100 is a significant time-saver.
“We used to do our counterfeit reporting manually,” says Ritchie, “but now we are able to process right from the iFX. It runs the report, takes a copy of the bill, prints the report and we send this with the bill to the Secret Service. It’s a big time savings.”
“Banking time has been cut 20 minutes to half an hour per shift.” Regina Enriquez Cage Shift Manager
Count on local, reliable service
Reliable local service is equally important to keeping the vault and cage operations running smoothly. “Since we’ve been with Cummins, the tech service has been great. Every time we’ve had to call in equipment, they’ve been very attentive to us and any time we’ve had any problems we’ve been able to call our service manager and he’s been able to take care of anything for us as well,” states Maltes.
Ritchie is excited about the changes in her operations, including the ability to streamline processes and eliminate paperwork. “I hope to be as automated as possible and find the fastest, most accurate ways of doing things here at the property.
I began my relationship with Cummins Allison 19 years ago and they have the same vision I do. They are always on the cutting edge of the newest technology, speed, convenience, accuracy, so it’s a perfect partnering or I wouldn’t still be doing work with them 19 years later. Working with Cummins Allison all these years, I can say the equipment holds up and the service is excellent and I’ve been able to rely on that no matter what jurisdiction I’ve worked in.”