Does Fast Pay Hurt Slot Attendants?

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Self pay screen confirm

Casinos have begun in some cases rolling out the use of Fast Pay, or Self Pay, which skips the need for a slot attendant to go get you cash for jackpots between $1,200 and $10,000. A player asks about this process:

Doesn’t using Fast Pay cut down on tips to the casino worker who would normally get tipped when hand counting a “hand pay?” Does the high roller give one large tip, at the casino cage when he signs off at the end of the day; and does this tip go into a tip pool that the workers share?


Hey Vikki – you ask some fair questions but there’s no one answer, for a couple of reasons:

  • Tipping is specific to the person, and we can’t confirm what people do in general because it’s going to vary widely.
  • Tipping policies also vary by casino – some pool tips, others don’t. And which departments pool can vary by property. Pooling as a general concept is pretty common, but not universal.

Fast Pay, though, cuts down on a lot of things – for players, they don’t have to wait for payouts to be brought out as long as they’re under the $10,000 threshold that requires additional documentation. This allows them to keep playing. For the casino, that’s both more wagers made with a house edge, and less labor required to handle all these handpays.

Those who sign up for Fast Pay will be the ones betting large enough, and getting jackpots enough, that the time savings matters. (Brian Christopher certainly takes advantage of this.) But for the everyday player, where jackpot handpays are more uncommon, they’re not, and they’ll probably be the most likely to tip more. 

Why? Because those betting bigger are more likely getting jackpots because of the arbitrary $1,200 figure than because it’s a big multiple of their bet, and are also therefore more likely to also be down a lot more overall, whereas a player getting a big jackpot on a small bet will more likely find themselves well ahead, and feeling more generous.

One of the BCSlots team managed a $12,500 jackpot on a Carnival cruise last year – on a $1 bet. They tipped generously, more so than Brian’s traditional 1% guideline, because of the rarity of the hit along with the particularly good support of the staff during the process.

But that said, what we’ve learned from players (like Brian) who use Fast Pay is the tipping often shifts to the end, when you pick up the paperwork, so there’s still a way to thank the team for the work they do to ensure that Fast Pay is set up at the beginning, and the paperwork provided at the end.

Tipping is a topic that tends to yield a massive range of responses. Fast Pay might reduce tips, but it also reduces work for the slot attendant team. Fast Pay is most useful in the high limit room, where big bets push people into jackpot territory a lot more often, including on mundane line hits, and we’ve seen many casinos roll out Fast Pay just to those areas, since that’s where it does the most good for all sides.

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