When going to a casino, you’re going to need to be prepared to spend money. Casinos mostly exchange gambling chips for cash and have ATMs or cashier’s cages to extract the cash; however, you’ll need a credit card, and some may not have access or want to do that. Instead, you might be able to use a personal check.
Most Las Vegas casinos are willing to cash a personal check. In order to accept a personal check, the casino will run your credit to determine how much cash they are willing to give you.
The rest of this article will detail types of checks and if they’re accepted by casinos, how the credit check works, and what to bring when cashing a personal check.
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Checks That Can and Can’t Be Cashed at a Casino
Even though Vegas casinos do cash checks, it’s important to note that casinos won’t cash every kind of check.
A Personal Check: Can Usually Be Cashed
Personal checks are slips of paper with your name on it, that is essentially a promise (IOU) to the casino that you will pay them. Once a personal check is cashed, your bank will electronically wire the casino the written amount of money from your account.
If the check promises to pay more money than what is in your account, it will bounce, meaning that the bank will not be able to pay the receiver any money and will sometimes charge the check-writer a fee.
It happens a lot that people will attempt to write a bad check in order to get more money than they actually have in the bank. Purposely writing bad checks can be a misdemeanor or even a felony, depending on the amount, intent, and if state lines were crossed.
For this reason, casinos are very careful when accepting personal checks and will evaluate the credit of the person to determine the possibility that the check will bounce.
Additionally, casinos might either charge a small fee of a couple of dollars or a percent of the amount written on the check.
That being said, most but not all casinos will accept personal checks. Call ahead and ask before expecting to bring a personal check to a casino.
Will Las Vegas casinos accept debit or credit cards to purchase gaming chips? Find the answer in our article here.
Traveler’s Check: Can Be Cashed
A traveler’s check is becoming a less-common way of securing money while going abroad. They are bought in your destination’s currency and are signed by both parties in person, with ID, making them useless if stolen.
These types of checks are mostly used in places without easy access to ATMs – which Las Vegas has an abundance of.
However, while many banks and companies have stopped issuing traveler’s checks, most Las Vegas hotels and casinos have continued to accept them.
A traveler’s check is more easily accepted than a personal check. All you need is a state-issued ID (a driver’s license, for example) and a pen to sign the check. Since your bank will have already approved a traveler’s check, there’s no need for a comprehensive background inquiry.
Additionally, no maximums are imposed on traveler’s checks since casinos can be sure that they won’t bounce. Furthermore, because there is less risk for the casino, they may not charge a fee to cash a traveler’s check.
Traveler’s checks are one of the most secure and sure ways to cash a check at a casino and may be a better choice than a personal check.
A Payroll Check: Cannot be Cashed
A payroll check is given to an employee from an employer to compensate for work. As electronic transfers have become a more and more popular way to pay employees, payroll checks have gone out of style.
Additionally, payroll checks are not accepted at casinos. When payroll checks were more common, this wasn’t always the case, but now it is. Since payroll checks are rare and difficult to validate, don’t expect to cash a payroll check (if you still get one) at any casino. Odds are, it won’t be honored. You’ll have to find a stand-alone check-cashing business nearby.
What to Bring When Cashing a Personal Check at a Casino
- A state-issued ID. A state-issued ID, most commonly a driver’s license, is needed to verify your identification. If you don’t have a driver’s license, a state-issued ID (given after the age of 18) or a valid passport may be used.
- A blank check. Don’t write a dollar amount on the check before going to the casino because there may be a limit on how much you can issue a check for. The casino will verify funds with your bank and then let you know how much you can write the check for. Keep this check in hand, as a blank check can be used to illegally draw money out of your account if lost and discovered by a stranger.
- Your social security number. To run a credit check, the casino will need your social security number. Either use an encrypted phone app, memorize the number, or hold on to a piece of paper with the number on it really tightly. Your social security number can be used for identity theft if it falls into the wrong hands.
Can you exchange foreign currency at a Vegas casino? We’ll show you how in our article here.
What to Expect When Cashing a Personal Check
What to Bring
After asking if you have your state-issued ID, social security number, and a blank check, the cashier will typically lead you through a credit-checking system. These types of credit checks are soft inquiries, meaning they won’t affect your credit score and are just making sure you’re reliable enough to accept a check from.
How the Credit Check Happens
Some places, such as casinos owned by Caesars, will ask you to enroll in their system in order to check credit electronically. This is typically a less invasive check, and also allows the casino to have your information if something goes wrong and they need to contact you. This type of check usually has a set dollar fee that you will need to pay ($4-$10).
Other casinos may use a separate credit-checking service. The service will use the same information and spit out an amount that you would be able to cash a check for. This way, casinos can be sure your check will be valid.
With second-party checking services, a percentage of the amount redeemed (1-3%) can be deducted to complete the credit check.
After the Check is Complete
The casino should then give you the maximum amount you can sign for (or use any lesser amount that you choose), corresponding to the amount in your account. Some casinos also have a hard limit for checks, even if you have sufficient funds. Usually, these amounts are a couple of thousand dollars.
Remember, only sign for the amount your budget can account for – the maximum amount given doesn’t mean the amount you should spend. (If you think you may have a gambling problem contact the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling for help).
Lastly, be sure to complete the blank check. Do this by writing in the amount you’re paying for, both in words and figures, and writing your signature on the back, on the dotted line. The check is void unless you do so.
The casino will then give you the money you signed for in cash, which can then be exchanged for chips to play table games or used directly in slot machines. The amount will then be charged from your personal bank account as soon as the casino cashes the check, which they will do promptly.
Are Las Vegas casinos rigged? Find out what you need to know in our article here.
While in Vegas, a personal check can be cashed at most casinos. You’ll need to be prepared by bringing an ID, your social security number, and a blank check with your name on it.
Also, be prepared to spend some time filling out a form that the casino will use to check your credit. Checking services will often require a small fee or percentage of the money you hope to withdraw. After the check, the casino will give you a maximum amount you can sign for – you can sign up to this amount, but not over it.
Additionally, traveler’s checks can be used and will require less background checking than a personal check. Payroll checks will not be accepted.
After your check is exchanged, you’re free to play!