Roughly 20 years ago, Ellis Island Hotel & Casino owner Gary Ellis came up with an idea for a system to extend lines of credit to casino players without handing out actual cash and now that that system is fully realized and patented, Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa near Cabazon will be one of the first casinos to use it.

The casino will start using Marker Trax, a cashless wagering system that allows casinos to digitally advance markers to players at slot machines. Markers work similarly to a line of credit: They are funds that are advanced for players to make bets with after an approval process and they have to be paid back.

Morongo will be the the first tribally-operated casino to use the new system after an initial launch at Ellis Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Marker Trax aims to improve on the process of giving out markers, such as making it faster, allowing the casino to manage more credit accounts and also keeping money in the casino, according to Charlie Skinner, chief operating officer for Marker Trax. Those things have been a challenge over the last 50 years, he said.

“Today if you go get a line of credit for gambling at a casino, you can take that money and walk it right out the door,” Skinner said. “The way our system works is it automatically pays back any outstanding credit when you cash out at a machine.”

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In order to first qualify to receive funds, a player must be part of Morongo’s player’s club and have their card inserted at the game that they’re playing.

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Then, using a Morongo-branded app on their phone, players will be able to apply for funds, Skinner said.

The app will communicate with an on-premises server, and that server will then communicate with the casino’s management system (which is integrated with Marker Trax), allowing the funds to be disbursed. The process takes a matter of minutes.

In the past, it could take hours or even days to get a person approved to receive a marker, Skinner said, and it was also very hard to get markers out to a lot of people because of all the administrative work involved.

“We do all of the billing and collection on behalf of the casino so whereby a typical casino may have dozens of credit accounts or hundreds of credit accounts, we allow a casino to have thousands or tens of thousands of accounts and we handle it all through our technology platform,” he said.

The technology is limited only to slot machines. Markers for table games will be available from Morongo’s Player Services desks.

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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News


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