Vegas ‘tabletop ATMs’ could make it easier for gamblers to lose money

The new technology eliminates a trip to the bank

Americans lost $117 billion to gambling in 2016. This year, they could lose a bit more.

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That’s because of a new “tabletop ATM” coming to the Palms Casino Resort this fall.

The new technology eliminates a trip to the bank or cashier for many gamblers and lets them withdraw money right from their seat. The machines, from software giant PlayOn, don’t use paper money, though. They pay out casino chips to players between hands.

And if gamblers strapped for cash are worried about hitting their bank withdrawal limit, they can keep playing anyway. “It is not truly an ATM transaction,” Mike Sackrison, chief financial officer of PlayOn’s parent, Automated Cashless Systems, told the New York Post.

Instead, the devices use point-of-sale transactions, which, unlike traditional ATM deals, are more aligned with using a bank card, Sackrison said: “With the ATM transaction, you are usually limited to $300 to $500 per day.” Point-of-sale transactions, on the other hand, are typically between $3,000 and $5,000 per day, depending on what your bank limits are.

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“Players like it because it’s convenient,” Sackrison said, adding that the systems give an alternative to credit card advances, which are typically offered by standard casino cash machines. Plus, while casino ATM transaction may include a $5 charge, a point-of-sale withdrawal in Las Vegas would be closer to $4 an up to 3 percent depending on the casino.

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“We’re not allowing people to go into debt,” Sackrison said. "They're using their own money.”

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