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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Casino Sounds of Silence

25 September 2004

The "coinless" revolution has taken Chicago-area casino destinations by storm. The "ticket-in/ticket-out" and "Fast Cash" technology has transformed slot machines into exclusive voucher and paper currency devices. The coin slot on the machines that used to accept tokens has even been eliminated on the machines so equipped.

The conversion is 100 percent complete at the Argosy Empress Casino in Joliet and nearly complete at Harrah's East Chicago in Indiana. Other destinations are rapidly following suit. Making a noticeable disappearing act is any semblance of the former token system, including the plastic buckets that used to be scattered about.

Coinless technology has also taken away many of the audio sensations players had become so accustomed to hearing, including the familiar sound of coins being dumped in the counting machines and the clanking sounds in the trays of the machines. It does take some getting used to.

Coins made the noise that served the purposes of the casinos as subliminal lures for players. It was the only sound the old machines were capable of making, other than the "bells and whistles" that went off when someone hit a jackpot.

The new computer-driven slot games come with enhanced audio as well as video capabilities that made coin clanking obsolete. Players are as much attracted to the interactive video sights as they are to the music and sound effects that emanate from the newest models, some of which are equipped sophisticated Bose audio systems.

Harrah's East Chicago has even begun introducing self-service voucher redemption kiosks, a convenience travelers to Las Vegas have enjoyed for a long time but technology that is new to Chicago-area gaming enthusiasts. Instead of having to bring your voucher to the cashier for validation, you can insert your voucher at the machine for on-the-spot cash redemption.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp