What Happens When Players Leave Money Behind?

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Sad Brian Christopher shows a small ticket

Sometimes players will see some money left over (often a few cents) on a machine. A player wonders what to do in those situations:

What are the rules on if you see a player has left a wager saver, or if they left unredeemable free play in a machine? I always just leave it as it is…but I’ve seen other people come up and use it. Just curious how that is all handled. I’m more of a “if it doesn’t belong to me don’t touch it person.” It is tempting to push that wager saved button though.


The rules and laws that govern these leftover small amounts will depend on the state, and sometimes even the casino.

In some states, left behind property becomes the property of the casino. Because of that fact alone, we don’t recommend intentionally playing through it, even if it was left in a machine. Cashing it out and leaving the ticket aside may be the best approach to avoid any issues.

Some casinos will proactively locate machines with a small balance left behind (and some systems can alert slot techs to this scenario) and cash it out to avoid any issues. We have seen this happening at a couple of casinos. 

This at least reduces the temptation and gets the random amounts out of machines, which some players will even use as a way to “reserve” a machine, even though in practice it’s not much of a deterrent to other players as a rule. (It’s still better than tilting a chair, though.)

In other states there’s more of a finders’ keepers scenario to money left behind, but unless you’re super sure that’s the particular law or rule where you are, we wouldn’t chance it.

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2 Replies to “What Happens When Players Leave Money Behind?”

  • Ramona says:

    I used to be a chair tilter (my generation did it😄) but now I ask a casino attendant to hold my machine and when I get back I tip them $5! It’s usually for a quick restroom break😅

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      Sounds like a good plan Ramona – nothing wrong with asking the slot attendants, especially if they’re able to help!

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