Time required to move cash
through slot machines
Exiger, Vancouver, Canada
Carl James Schwarz
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
Exiger, Miami, Florida, USA, and
Exiger, Vancouver, Canada
Purpose –The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical study on the time needed to load and
disburse cash using bill validators on slot machines and stand-alone cash dispensers in casinos in British
Columbiaunder a Ticket In Ticket Out (TITO) system.
Design/methodology/approach –Testing took place over two days, using 18 machines. The results
were extrapolatedto estimate the approximate time required to process$1,000,000 with different average bill
amounts in the cashmix and three different bill validator machines in common use. The averagevalue per bill
using the cash mix used by the publicin the casino was $33.11[standard error (SE) $2.11].
Findings –The mean time/acceptednote ranged from 4.12 to 9.65 s, depending on bill validatortype. This
implies that the timeneeded to load $1,000,000 onto credit slips using billvalidators on slot machines ranges
from 35 to 81 h, excluding rest breaksand other breaks. The time needed to redeem $1,000,000 is estimatedto
be 3 h.
Practical/implications –The implications of these ﬁndingfor illicit actors to successfully launder large
amounts of cash are discussed. Given the time needed to physically handle the cash, and other control
systemscurrently in use in casinos in British Columbia, processinglarge amounts of cash using bill validators
on slot machineswould require a highly organized teamthat would ﬁnd it difﬁcult to elude detection.
Originality/value –The trial results provide a baseline estimate to be used going forward when
investigatingor proposing money laundering methodologiesthat include slot machines.
Keywords Money laundering, Casino, Bill validator, Reﬁning, Slot machine,
Ticket in ticket out (TITO)
Paper type Research paper
Casinos in Canada are subject to reporting and anti-money laundering (AML) program
requirements as set forth in the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist
© Karen Kelly, Carl James Schwarz, Ricardo Gomez and Kim Marsh. This article is published under
the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate
and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes),
subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be
seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode
Journalof Money Laundering
Vol.21 No. 3, 2018
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