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HOME > > Ask the Slot Expert: More adventures in cashless gaming at the slots

Ask the Slot Expert: More adventures in cashless gaming at the slots

17 November 2021

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

Last week I received an email from the STN Cash (Station Casinos' system for cashless gaming at slot machines) support team. The email said that they were making some changes based on feedback from players.

The biggest change is in how cashing out is handled. After I had signed the account agreement and funded my account at the cage, I played a machine and hit the Cash Out button. I expected the machine to print a ticket because I had not connected to the machine using the STN Cash app on my phone.

The machine did not print a ticket. And my credits were gone.

The slot floorperson and I expected to see a ticket caught in the ticket out path when she opened up the machine. No ticket.

She checked the ticket log on the machine. The most recent entry was not for the amount I cashed out nor was it timestamped with the time I cashed out.

I assured her that I definitely cashed out about $80 a few minutes ago.

She checked the cash out log next. There it was! A record of my cash out. If it didn't go to a ticket, where did it go?

I said, "I just set up a STN Cash account. Could the money have gone there?"

She said, "Check your balance."

I opened up the app on my phone. The home screen, which shows your current balance, was $80 more than what I initially funded the account with ($5). The transaction history screen showed an $80 deposit to the account.

She said that once you go cashless, all your cashouts go to your STN Cash account.

That made sense. I want to go cashless. It just would have been nice if the "all cashouts cashless" procedure had been in the FAQs on the website or if someone had told me that after I set up the account.

Cashouts are not necessarily cashless now. Now you can choose whether you want the credits to go back to your account or to a ticket. Hitting the Cash Out button will get you a ticket. Disconnect from the machine using the app (assuming you connected to the machine using Cardless Connect in the app rather than putting in your players card) will transfer the funds to your STN Cash account.

I questioned this change at first. I thought that people were not fully embracing the cashless lifestyle.

After I thought about it, though, giving the player an easy way to choose between account and ticket made sense. Before the change, you had two ways to get cash out of your account. You could go to the cage and make a withdrawal from the account, or you could transfer money to your linked bank account and then withdraw the cash from it at the bank or an ATM. If you don't have an account that refunds out-of-network ATM fees, you could end up paying a fee to get money from your STN Cash account.

There should be some contactless way to convert cash in the account to cash in your pocket.

Now you can withdraw money from your account by transferring it to a machine, hitting Cash Out to get a ticket, and then redeeming the ticket at a kiosk.

The other change mentioned in the email makes no sense to me. Before the change, if you left a machine without disconnecting from it in the app, the machine would eventually do a Card Out and automatically transfer any credits you left on the machine back to your account.

Now the credits just stay on the machine.

I thought the automatic transfer was a great safety feature. We've all gotten distracted by something and left a machine without cashing out. The automatic transfer limited the damage thieves could do if they tried to play the credits you left behind.

Unfortunately, the Cash Out button change once again makes it possible for a thief to steal your credits by cashing them out. The changes removed some of the safety features of using a STN Cash account.

I would suggest to the STN Cash team that they undo these changes and add an option in the app to Disconnect with Transfer or Disconnect with Ticket. This may not be possible with the current software.

I had a few glitches on my most recent attempts to use my STN Cash account. I took out a marker, which they gave to me in a ticket. (I didn't ask if they could just put the funds in my STN Cash account.) I had played an NSU machine for a while when a lady started playing the machine at the other end of the bank.

Every few seconds she coughed. Just a little cough.

I thought that maybe she had Tourette's. Or maybe she had what my old boss had that made him cough a few times a minute when the weather got cold in New Jersey. (Appropriately, his last name was pronounced cough-us.)

I figured I could live with this. I'm masked and she's masked.

Well, actually, only I was masked. She had a cup of coffee and a takeout container in front of her and no mask in sight. I don't know what she's got going on. I'm moving.

I disconnected using the app (so my funds went to my STN Cash account) and went to another machine. When I checked the home screen in the app after I settled in at my new machine, the balance available was unavailable. There were just dashes after the dollar sign instead of numbers. In tiny type underneath was this message: STN Cash is processing.

I tried connecting to the machine to see if that helped. It didn't. I pressed the button to try to transfer money to the game to see if it was just a display problem, but all I got was an error message. At least the deposit did appear in my transaction history, so the money was in the account even if the app couldn't display it.

I waited a few minutes to see if the problem would clear up. It didn't. Now I had a problem. All of my money was in my STN Cash account and the app was holding my money hostage. Off to the cage to see if they know anything about the problem and to see if they could withdraw money from my account.

I explained my problem to the cashier. I should have just asked her if she could withdraw money from my account, but instead I asked if she could see the balance. I figured that she would say yes and that I would then ask her to give some of it.

She said that she couldn't see my balance. This was mostly true. She couldn't see the account using a standard cage terminal, but her supervisor could using the STN Cash terminal at the STN Cash window at the end of the cage.

We moved down to the STN Cash window where the cashier asked me to see if my app could connect to the machine they have there. I had no problems connecting. She said she would call the cage supervisor.

When the supervisor arrived, the cashier told her that I could connect to the machine, my slot club points appeared on the machine, but my money didn't. I said that the money doesn't automatically go to the machine. You have to use the Fund Game button in the app to transfer money from the STN Cash account to a machine.

The supervisor called STN Cash support. We went through the same troubleshooting steps again. While she was on hold with the support tech, she said to me that the only thing she could do is withdraw cash from the account.

I said that that was really what I wanted. I wanted to report the problem and see if there was a system problem or if there was something they could do to clear it. If it couldn't be cleared, then I wanted to withdraw some cash so I could play.

After that 20 minute farrago, I finally had some playing money. I settled in at another machine and feed cash into it.

While I was playing, a support tech called me to ask what kind of phone I had. When I was finished playing -- and cashed out into a ticket -- I checked the app again. My balance was there now. I would be back tomorrow for gift day. I'll use my ticket to fund the game and then disconnect to transfer my credits back to my account.

The next day, when I was finished playing, I hit the Disconnect button in the app. A confirmation dialog appeared. It said that my credits would be transferred to my STN Cash account.

Good. That's what I want. I touched OK. The machine printed a ticket.

It looks like we went from always cashless to never cashless.

I went to pick up my gift and figured I would deal with this problem on my next visit.


Here are the latest Covid data. There is a difference in the hospitalization data for US versus NV. The CDC reports total number of Covid hospital admissions. Nevada reports current hospitalizations, not admissions.

All data comes from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_totalcases, https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#new-hospital-admissions), except for Nevada current hospitalizations (https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/).

Totals Weekly Changes
US NV US NV
Date Cases  Hosp. Adm.  Deaths  Cases  Curr. Hosp.  Deaths  Cases  Hosp. Adm.  Deaths  Cases  Curr. Hosp.  Deaths 
 11/16   47,145,861   3,320,189    761,426    461,616   725   7,844   604,748   63,164   7,862   4,577   22   85 
 11/09   46,541,113   3,257,025    753,564    457,039   703   7,759   516,764   33,219   8,290   5,539   34   103 
 11/02   46,024,349   3,223,806    745,274    451,500   669   7,656   555,915   38,028   9,226   4,327   45   109 
 10/26   45,468,434   3,185,778    736,048    447,173   624   7,547   488,829   42,265   9,842   4,753   (87)   96 
 10/19   44,979,605   3,143,513    726,206    442,420   711   7,451   578,396   11,963   4,381   136 
 10/12   44,401,209   714,243    438,039   7,315   795,586   14,067   15,710   149 
 10/05   43,605,623   700,176   422,329   7,166   554,194   10,642   3,852   121 
 09/28   43,051,429   689,534   418,477   7,045   817,218   14,463   6,160   165 
 09/21   42,234,211   675,071   412,317   6,880   971,637   14,691   7,466   152 
 09/14   41,262,574   660,380   404,851   6,728   1,176,763   12,919   10,256   145 
 09/07   40,085,811   647,461   394,595   6,583   975,725   10,076   5,237   104 
 08/31   39,110,086   637,385   389,358   6,479   1,113,414   9,385   7,592   173 
 08/24   37,996,672   628,000   381,649   6,306   1,045,491   7,507   8,117   116 
 08/17   36,951,181   620,493   373,649   6,190   959,978   4,715   7,065   150 
 08/10   35,991,203   615,778   366,584   6,040   819,524   3,987   7,652   122 
 08/03   35,171,679   611,791   358,932   5,918   622,832   2,279   7,489   81 
 07/27   34,548,847   609,012   351,443   5,837   652,251   2,394   8,347   79 
 07/20   33,896,296   606,618   341,096   5,758   169,933   1,478   3,351   28 
 07/13   33,726,363   605,140   339,745   5,730   181,047   1,959   4,982   33 
 07/06   33,545,316   603,181   334,763   5,697   75,104   1,373   2,234   27 
 06/29   33,470,212   601,808   332,529   5,670   87,507   2,057   3,020   24 
 06/22   33,382,705   599,751   329,509   5,646   75,420   2,157   1,930   22 
 06/15   33,303,285   597,594   327,579   5,624   95,797   2,293   1,560   17 
 06/08   33,207,488   595,301   326,019   5,607   114,250   3,762   2,271   21 
 06/01   33,039,238   591,539   323,748   5,586   123,333   3,709   991   27 
 05/25   32,969,905   587,830   322,757   5,559   174,125   4,234   1,676   26 
 05/18   32,795,780   583,596   321,081   5,533   223,966   4,230   2,301   27 
 05/11   32,571,814   579,366   318,780   5,506   303,856   4,687   2,541   33 
 05/04   32,267,958   574,679   316,239   5,473   343,348   4,908   2,559   40 
 04/27   31,924,610   569,771   313,680   5,433   383,163   4,958   2,747   65 
 04/20   31,541,447   564,813   310,933   5,368   464,556   5,072   2,590   36 
 04/13   31,076,891   559,741   308,343   5,332   480,061   5,321   2,986   57 
 04/06   30,596,830   554,420   305,357   5,275   448,935   7,124   3,084   38 
 03/30   30,147,895   547,296   302,273   5,237   439,510   6,793   939   63 
 03/23   29,708,385   540,503   301,334   5,174   388,928   7,446   1,863   53 
 03/16   29,319,457   533,057   299,471   5,121   381,695   8,362   3,078   81 
 03/09   28,937,762   524,695   296,393   5,040   480,902   11,573   2,413   83 
 03/02   28,456,860   513,122   293,980   4,957   463,356   14,129   2,835   75 
 02/23   27,993,504   498,993   291,145   4,882   451,083   13,923   2,406   162 
 02/16   27,542,421   485,070   288,739   4,720   602,906   21,411   4,149   198 
 02/09   26,939,515   463,659   284,590   4,522   779,305   21,828   5,444   244 
 02/02   26,160,210   441,831   279,146   4,278   1,007,777   22,004   7,249   249 
 01/26   25,152,433   419,827   271,897   4,029   1,312,565   23,385   10,324   250 
 01/19   23,839,868   396,442   261,573   3,779   1,317,119   21,318   11,324   279 
 01/12   22,522,749   375,124   250,249   3,500   1,790,345   22,660   17,217   294 
 01/05   20,732,404   352,464   233,032   3,206   1,499,561   18,435   14,655   233 
 12/29   19,232,843   334,029   218,377   2,973   1,258,540   15,460   12,493   186 
 12/22   17,974,303   318,569   205,884   2,787   1,656,411   18,537   16,472   239 
 12/15   16,317,892   300,032   189,412   2,548   1,494,763   17,247   18,825   229 
 12/08   14,823,129   282,785   170,587   2,319   1,375,502   15,483   18,418   175 
 12/01   13,447,627   267,302   152,169   2,144   1,114,175   10,286   15,942   121 
 11/24   12,333,452   257,016   136,227   2,023   1,197,199   10,784   14,130   106 
 11/17   11,136,253   246,232   122,097   1,917   1,099,790   8,501   11,115   65 
 11/10   10,036,463   237,731   110,982   1,852   767,645   6,838   8,868   68 
 11/03   9,268,818   230,893   102,114   1,784   588,207   5,809   5,936   35 
 10/27   8,680,611   225,084   96,178   1,749   492,026   5,585   5,238   (10) 
 10/20   8,188,585   219,499   90,940   1,759   401,037   5,053   4,501   48 
 10/13   7,787,548   214,446   86,439   1,711   351,270   4,886   3,910   48 
 10/06   7,436,278   209,560   82,529   1,663   306,965   4,962   3,232   36 
 09/29   7,129,313   204,598   79,297   1,627   303,616   5,136   3,058   54 
 09/22   6,825,697   199,462   76,239   1,573   288,070   5,370   2,196   82 
 09/15   6,537,627   194,092   72,043   1,491   250,265   5,404   1,825   65 
 09/08   6,287,362   188,688   72,218   1,426   282,919   5,638   2,734   92 
 09/01   6,004,443   183,050   69,484   1,334   251,790   5,291   3,237   104 
 08/25   5,752,653   177,759   66,247   1,230   330,411   7,889   4,076   125 
 08/18   5,422,242   169,870   62,171   1,105   358,071   7,463   4,973   114 
 08/11   5,064,171   162,407   57,198   991   365,353   7,203   5,776   117 
 08/04   4,698,818   155,204   51,422   874   418,683   7,532   7,367   109 
 07/28   4,280,135   147,672   44,055   764   460,996   7,042   7,130   91 
 07/21   3,819,139  140,630  36,195  674  463,682  5,395  8,181  57 
 07/14   3,355,457   135,235   28,744   617   422,861   5,102   5,607   57 
 07/07   2,932,596   130,133   23,137   560   351,367   3,394   5,006   24 
 06/30   2,581,229 

Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at slotexpert@slotexpert.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

Copyright © John Robison. Slot Expert and Ask the Slot Expert are trademarks of John Robison.

 
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming's leading publications. Hear John on "The Good Times Radio Gaming Show," broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoons. You can listen to archives of the show online anytime.

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