Everi: Making Change for Charity

The Everi Cares charitable giving program has donated more than $700,000 to worthy causes in less than two years—all from spare change on cash-out tickets through the company’s kiosks.

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Everi: Making Change for Charity

The ticket-in/ticket-out (TITO) system that replaced coin-redemption booths with cash-out redemption kiosks has been one of the smoothest of the casino industry’s many technological revolutions. By removing coins from the floor, the system has saved operators untold millions in coin-handling costs.

The TITO system led directly to the penny denomination on the slot floor, but it also created an interesting phenomenon: spare change. The variety of bets on a penny slot means players are often left with 35 cents, 75 cents or some other sub-dollar amount on the credit meter if they lose. What to do with it?

If a player wins, he or she may win, say, $235.75. Does that player really want three quarters jangling in the pockets?

Michael Rumbolz, president and chief executive officer of Everi Holdings, wondered the same thing, and had a great idea: give all that spare change to charity.

Everi, the company that produces thousands of those TITO redemption kiosks for casinos across the industry, developed that idea into the Everi Cares Giving Module. Introduced in late 2017, it’s a simple but ingenious idea. When cashing out at an Everi kiosk, the customer is given a quick option for the sub-dollar portion of the amount on the ticket: Donate the three quarters to charity.

The company developed a system whereby a casino can designate local and/or national charities to benefit from all that spare change. And that change adds up. In less than two years, the program is nearing the $1 million mark in donations.

“The Giving Module has generated more than $700,000 in donations while also providing our operators the benefit of less coin on the floor, saving our 32 participating casinos from having to handle more than 19 million coins to date,” Rumbolz says.

He calls the Everi Cares Giving Module a “natural extension” for the company, which created the Self Transaction Exclusion Program, or SteP, for its casino ATMs two decades ago, when the company was the legacy Global Cash Access. The SteP module allows players to block their own access to cash at ATMs over a certain level as a way to battle problem gambling.

“With the Everi Cares SteP program already in place,” Rumbolz says, “offering a second self-selected product promoting social good was a relatively simple way for Everi to build upon its history of good corporate citizenship by providing additional assistance to our operators and their guests. We teamed with Casinos Care as our nonprofit organization administrator to vet, approve, and monitor selected charities.”

After beta testing at an off-Strip property in Las Vegas, Everi partnered with the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma to launch the system across multiple sites under the tribal operator’s umbrella. The Giving Module has now been jurisdictionally approved and made available in 32 tribal and commercial casinos throughout North America.

More recently, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas became the first major Strip operator to adopt the charity function. And Rumbolz says more are on the way. “We have generated interest from nearly all of our freestanding kiosk CashClub operators, including large corporate Strip casino owners, and are experiencing an influx of requests,” he says. “Based on these requests, our team is working diligently to coordinate both jurisdictional approvals and installations. In addition to the Cosmopolitan, the Giving Module is also currently available in Las Vegas at the Wynn and the M Resort.”

Rumbolz says overall adoption has already exceeded expectations, and the program has garnered praise from both operators and their guests.

“Casinos appreciate the fact that this provides them another avenue to demonstrate their commitment to furthering the good works of local and national charities,” he says. “It’s clear that guests are happy to donate their change to worthwhile charitable efforts when we and our casino partners make it so easy for them.”

Rumbolz adds that the company’s engineers have expanded the reach of the Giving Module. “We first had to develop the method to tie the software to our existing back-end systems to accurately record donation amounts with appropriate reporting,” he explains. “Now, any operator with an Everi freestanding kiosk using our CashClub solution is eligible to have the module added.

“The Everi Cares Giving Module provides a near-effortless, cost-saving and efficient method for casinos to have a direct positive impact in their communities, while showcasing the philanthropy and generosity of their industry, which is typically misunderstood. We believe the Giving Module reinforces the positive community impacts and charitable relationships that the casino industry should be known for.”

Articles by Author: Frank Legato

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the humor book How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and a coffee table book on Atlantic City, Atlantic City: In Living Color.