Las Vegas High Roller Insider Secret: Speeding up hand pays
If you're a player that frequents the Las Vegas High Roller Rooms where wagers up to $5000 per spin are the status quo, then you'll probably know that any payout on a video poker or slot machine higher than $1200 becomes a hand pay, which can incur long waiting periods to get your money.
Interestingly there have been recent discussions at the United States IRS regarding lowering the threshold of hand pay wins to $600. For high rollers this would be completely ridiculous and a waste of precious time, so let's hope it never gets to that! Still, it is a topic of discussion.
Anyway, back to the waiting period...
Part of the reason for the wait is that when awarding a hand pay, casino staff are required to fill out a W-2G form detailing your address, the win amount and tax owing on the winning amount (where applicable). If you've ever had to go through this process and aren't a particularly patient person by nature, then you've probably wondered if there is some way to speed the whole thing along.
Thankfully, there is! And you have two options, the first which is rather common knowledge, and the other that is a well-kept Vegas insider secret.
OPTION 1: A log
A log is a single piece of paper which you will initial line-by-line as your wins occur. This is particularly useful if you're a high roller and earn hand pay amounts regularly.
For example, on our recent trip to Vegas a high roller at the prestigious Bellagio Casino was playing video poker at $250 per round. Obviously a skilled player, he earned himself a hand pay every few minutes. Instead of casino staff running back and forth to award the hand pay each time, a dedicated casino host simply stood by his side to routinely unblock the machines and filled in the "log" as his game play proceeded.
The log is only valid for 24 hours from midnight to midnight and will be finalised and recorded in a single W-2G form at the end of each day.
OPTION 2: The Vegas insider secret
Only some casinos offer this service, from experience we know that the Aria and Bellagio do, and it's only available on IGT machines, but it is a feature known as "QuickPay"..
To activate this feature simply visit the cashier's desk in the high roller area or room and request that "QuickPay" be set for you along with a personal PIN Number. Once this feature is active and you play IGT machines when you hit a hand pay, the game will pop up a screen that asks you to confirm the hand pay. You then just type in your PIN and push the "Accept" button and that's it! You will be able to continue playing immediately, and the information will be sent to the casino staff member dealing with this to organise your W-2G form as you do.
As with the log book , the Quickpay option is valid for 24 hours only (midnight to midnight) and needs to be renewed daily as you play but it's a really great option.
It's quite a surprise that this is such a closely guarded secret and that casino staff don't pro-actively inform high rollers of its existence. We guess it's due to the fact that even though hand pays keep them busy and running backwards and forwards, they often lead to some generous tips from the winner and when the QuickPay feature is active, players will not need to interact with casino staff and won't end up tipping them.
The hand pay regulations in Las Vegas are a bit of a nightmare for high rollers and really do feel like a real waste of time, we wish that regulators would realise this and change the law. They could perhaps take a leaf out of Singapore casinos books, who under very stringent gambling regulations still allow players to continue to play without stopping for hand pay processes even when they hit $50,000 in a single spin. Players simply feel delighted and if they wish to do so, continue playing with no interruption to their fun.