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Casino habitues, keep an eye on your coins

Posted at 2:58 PM on April 4, 2007 by Bill Wareham

From the Associated Press:

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - It's the casino equivalent of
reaching under your couch cushions and finding a buck or so in
loose change.

Only the take at the former Sands Casino Hotel topped $17,000
worth of coins that fell under or around slot machines over the
past three decades.

The casino was closed last November and will be torn down later
this year to make way for a new gambling hall. The 2,350 machines
had not been moved in the 26 years the Sands operated in Atlantic
City, so workers removing them expected to find some stray cash.

Just how much, however, was a surprise. It was $17,193.34, to be
exact.

"We never expected this much," said Carmen Gonzalez, a
spokeswoman for Pinnacle Atlantic City. "It was just shocking."

The money belongs to Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., the Las Vegas
company that purchased the Sands last year. New Jersey gets 8
percent of the money in taxes - the same as it would had the money
been won from gamblers.

The money was coins, casino tokens and even a $100 bill.

Some had rolled into small spaces between machines, but most of
it was found underneath them. The older-style machines contained
buckets inside to hold coins that were deposited, and when they
overflowed, sometimes coins rolled underneath the machines.