The cage is a vital part of a casino’s operation, fulfilling a number of important roles. Some of these are evident to customers, while others are less obvious – but equally important. The nerve centre of the casino, the cage operates on a shift by shift basis, for as long as the casino is open.
The cage works in unison with the vault in being responsible for the security and accountability of the casino’s finances. This can involve looking after thousands or even millions of pounds, dollars, euros – or whichever currency is used in the casino’s country of operation. Paper and coin monies, casino chips and customer IOUs (markers) are the main items that the cage will handle, as it stores these items, and manages the transfer of them to or from the vault.
At the heart of an effective cage are solid accounting procedures, ensuring that the casino knows exactly how much money is in any part of the floor, cage or vault at any one time.
Communication with the casino pit or pits is also a crucial role of the cage. Among its many functions is the provision of credit and check fills to table games as and when requested; furnishing of information about any given customer’s credit status to relevant employees; creation of tabulations of table game finances; and keeping the casino’s supervisors up to date with any important information relating to the operation of the casino.
The cage also deals with a great many customer transactions. Window cashiers manage chip exchanges for currency, deal with payrolls and cash traveller’s cheques, as well as deal with front money transactions and taking receipt of customers’ marker payments (IOUs). They may also deal with promotional casino coupons and dispense information to customers as and when required.
As the nerve centre of the operation, the cage links up every part of the casino. For instance, it might be responsible for sending important forms to the accounts department and work alongside count audit teams. It may also take in and give out cashiers’ banks or floats to different parts of the casino. These smaller operations might include the bar or the hotel reception. The staff in the cage may also work with security personnel during the table filling and crediting process. In casinos with slots machines, it may provide coin re-stocks and deal with larger jackpot pay outs.
Strict and well executed internal control procedures in the cage are what helps ensure the casino knows how much money it has in which place. This can involve many different types of forms.
Most casino cages are located at the rear of the floor for two main reasons. The first is that it makes a robbery more challenging and therefore less likely. The second reason is commercial: when someone needs to cash in their chips, they may be tempted to use other games or slots in the casino as they move to the back of the floor.
The crucial role of the cage has no real equivalent in the online casino industry. The ‘cashier’ or ‘accounts’ tab on online casinos performs a partially similar role, where deposits are taken from customers, and where withdrawals of winnings are made. In some other online casinos/betting sites, it also partially replicates the ‘chip exchange’ function of the cage, in that funds might need to be switched from a sports account to the casino account.
But with all the changes brought about by online casinos, the traditional casino – and its cage – remain popular. For an online casino experience visit www.galacasino.com