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Prevent Counterfeit Currency From Ever Reaching Your Casino's Back Office

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Eric Haruki

You detected counterfeit bills in the back office? Great! But it’s too late…

Being in the currency authentication biz for a couple decades, you hear a few things. Many casinos have told us that they have money counting machines in their back office to detect counterfeits, but what’s the point in doing that? Finding fake bills that have already passed through the hands of your dealers, past the cage, and finally into your back office is akin to closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. Or buying flood insurance after the storm.

For the Casino, the damage has already been done as they may have paid out winnings to the fraudster/s, need to forfeit the fake cash to the Secret Service, and chalk up the value as losses in their books.

Ben Franklin’s nearly 300 year old proverb: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” still hits home today, imploring it is far less costly to be prepared for a disaster vs. just reacting to one.

Whether dealing with a hurricane on the horizon, cyber hacks, or counterfeit currency fraudsters, the key is to prepare for the inevitable attempt, adopt best practice measures and tools to prevent the fraud from occurring in the first place, and to reduce the impact of fraud that will make it through your best planned defenses.

A disastrous outcome isn’t just linked to the hazard fraudsters may present to your business. The hazard is known. Their strike is a certainty. The disaster happens when you’re not sufficiently prepared to receive the threat and put forth countermeasures to mitigate its impact.

But unlike an entity such as FEMA, who may take days or weeks to marshal resources and formulate a plan against a forecasted storm, a casino can’t act at the “speed” of Government. Fraudsters aren’t a hurricane that gives days to prepare, or even a tornado that might give scant minutes. Fraudsters are the storm that’s on you now, the storm that’s always overhead waiting for any opportunity to strike and do damage. As such, proper planning and pre-positioning of defensive measures can make all the difference in reducing the severity of impact.

According to the US Department of Treasury, there is roughly $100 million worth of counterfeit currency circulating in the United States at any given time. (Although that figure has long been viewed as an intentional under-reporting based on the relatively small quantities of seized counterfeits.  Anecdotal evidence indicates the real number to be multitudes larger than this.) And unsurprisingly, whether through fraudster malice or in the hands of unaware patrons, counterfeit currency inevitably ends up in casinos.

Seemingly on a daily basis, there are crime blotter reports of individuals or gangs / groups trying to pass counterfeit bills through a casino. Whether it’s a series of fake $100s (all with the same serial number) plunked down on a blackjack table at Harrah’s Philadelphia or variations on this theme, there are countless ways people try to game with fake bills.

The U.S. Secret Service has been quoted to say that they collect upwards of $20,000 in counterfeit currencies every day just from Las Vegas casinos, and so this is a chronic problem that requires continuous training augmented by technology that brings machine speed and accuracy to the equation.

Today’s fake currency is just too good. The bills look and literally feel like the real McCoy, rendering human inspection moot. It is imperative to take currency authentication out of humans’ hands and eyes and let technology authenticate currencies accurately and at speed.

Even with best and ongoing training, your team is still only human and prone to making errors, especially when busy and likely distracted, interacting with patrons, or just tired after a long shift on the floor.

Ultraviolet powered currency counterfeit detectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes that fit where you need them to – in the hands of roaming security staff, on gaming tables, or on a cage counter. They can help fill in any inspection gaps left by your team via easy and immediate fluorescence (glow) of a bill’s embedded security features.

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If your casino is already employing UV detection technologies, it may be time to upgrade. For instance, new LED bulb models have been introduced that advance counterfeit detection by being brighter and are also more energy efficient and longer lasting vs. legacy fluorescent bulbs. Longer lifespans equal greater ROI per unit and less replacement hassles of the units themselves or bulbs. Staying up to date helps your casino stay ahead.

At UVeritech, we’ve stood alongside our retail, banking, and casino customers in the battle against currency fraud, developing and refining our leading UV counterfeit currency detection systems that fit their diverse needs. We get deeply involved with casinos to understand their threat vectors, and scope out solutions that reduce the devastating effects of fraud on their business. We help identify vulnerabilities in processes and fraud soft spots to remove the potential negative outcome entirely vs. “deal” with its effects and disastrous consequences.

UVeritech’s currency and identity authentication solutions power best casino processes, providing best protection and outcomes.

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