What is TITO?
Not to be confused with the late Yugoslav statesman, TITO is an acronym for Ticket In, Ticket Out, which is the method by which modern slot and video poker machine players collected their winnings. TITO technology has been in existence since the early Nineties and, essentially, uses machine-dispensed, barcoded tickets as an alternative to coins.
The transition to coinless slot machines has been rapid. TITO is popular with casinos because it avoids refilling slot machines, thereby reducing labour costs and downtime, and allows jackpot wins to be paid quickly and efficiently. Previously, nickel slot machines were notoriously labour-intensive, requiring any jackpot over $50 to be paid by hand. Likewise, slot players can insert a banknote into a machine and, at the end of a playing session, print out a ticket that can be redeemed at the casino cage or a redemption machine, or ‘kiosk’. Of course, coins do not drop into the coin tray, but some machines simulate the sound of falling coins.
Players no longer need to carry buckets of coins to and fro across the casino floor and can insert a ticket from one machine directly into another without cashing it first. Tickets do have an expiry date, up to a maximum of 180 days in Nevada casinos, but, in the meantime, can easily be tucked away in a wallet or purse for future use. Nevertheless, in Nevada, millions of dollars’ of slot machine tickets expire each year, with 75% of the revenue going to the state government and 25% being retained by the casino.