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The Horrors of Casino Check Cashing

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 8th November 2004 12:48am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


LAS VEGAS -- It's payday and a long line has sprouted at the casino's cashier cage, where tellers dole out bundles of money.

Nearly all the folks waiting this afternoon inside the Boulder Station casino are clutching paychecks. A waitress offers free margaritas to the growing crowd beneath catchy banners --"Just cash your check, spin and win?" "Everyone's a winner ... Guaranteed!" and "Free drink with every paycheck cashed."

Many in the line leave the casino without spending a penny of their hard-earned money. But others drop dollar after dollar into the ubiquitous slot and video poker machines.

Some lose everything.

"I come and leave," said John Humphrey, 35, an electrician who said he once lost his entire $1,400 paycheck playing the slots after cashing it at a casino. "It hurt on bills. I don't do that anymore."

Check-cashing is business as usual at many Las Vegas casinos, where residents flock to exchange their payroll or government checks for cash at no charge. The service puts people and their money inside the casinos but it also draws some criticism from those in and out of the industry.

Patrons come to avoid the fees of check-cashing centers and account requirements of banks.

Unlike banks, casinos lure their customers with free booze and an array of gimmicks. People can win food and more money by playing games, such as Poker Payday, Paycheck Bonanza Plus and Paycheck Poker.



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