Check rules before delaying cashing keno tix

June 30, 2015 3:08 AM


Check rules before delaying cashing keno tixAs casinos in Las Vegas downgrade or eliminate their keno games it is becoming more likely than ever you will not have a keno game at the hotel of your stay, even if the hotel has a casino. This should not be a problem for several reasons.

First of all, almost every casino allows you to cash in your winning ticket well after the end of the game you won. However, it is extremely important that you check with the particular casino on what their policy is on late pays.

Typically, if you play 20 games or less on a multi-race ticket you have 24 hours to cash in your ticket. If you play 21 games or more many casinos (but not all) give you up to a year to cash in. Be aware that some consider a year 360 days, so check with the keno writers to not get caught short; look at the keno pay book for this information as well.

Let’s say you discovered after getting home you still have a 21-game or more keno ticket you have not cashed. You can call the casino, be transferred to keno and find out if you have won. Many casinos have web links to find out this information as well.

You may have to send the casino the ticket by registered mail at this point. If the amount of the pay is $1,500 or more ask the casino how to handle the situation so you can get paid as you will need to submit the necessary tax identification documents. Remember also, even if the ticket win is less than $1,500 you are still required to report the net win on the ticket.

Of course if you have losses against it from other tickets or gambling games you may itemize these deductions on your return to the extent of your wins. Ask your tax adviser for more information on this topic.

I personally like to cash out all my tickets before I leave unless they are a long multi-game series that will not finish by the time my transportation leaves for home. It makes win/loss bookkeeping easier and I have use of the money now rather than later.

If you play downtown exclusively it should not be a problem as you can walk to all the keno casinos from each other. I find downtown keno has enough offerings to satisfy any keno player whether you want low cost tickets (40 cents a game) or the MegaKeno Progressives (El Cortez) or keno tournaments (California, Fremont, The D).

The best keno on the Strip (Excalibur) is easily reached by the SDX, Deuce or the 201 bus; transfer at Flamingo for the Gold Coast (202) or at Tropicana for the Orleans (201).

Another way to prevent having tickets to cash out when you might be away from a particular casino is to be aware of how fast the games are drawn.

Typically a busy casino with a lot of active keno players will have 6-10 minutes between games while at slow times and late night (some games run 24 hours) games may be run at intervals of 5 minutes or less.

One very important caveat: If playing in a tourney you must turn in all tournament tickets before the tournament ends or you will not receive tournament credit the majority of the time. You will be paid on the ticket winnings if you meet that deadline but will lose out on the prize money in most cases if you do not cash in your tickets prior to the end of the tournament. I cannot over emphasize how important it is to cash in tourney tickets on time!

Another reason to cash tickets promptly: If there is a promotion involved that expires at a given time. It is also easier to ask for a comp if you cash in the ticket closer to the time the series of games ends.

If it is summer and you are cashing a multi-race ticket from the winter asking for a comp for play several months ago, unless you are a very heavy player who gets RFB (room, food, and beverages) comped on a regular basis, you will not likely get the comp. But if you have just finished playing and ask for a comp, assuming you have played enough, it will be easier to obtain.

In addition, the more you show yourself during play the more the keno writers will remember you when you ask for a comp.

If you have played a lot and the keno manager sees a lot of you he or she may even write out a comp without checking your play, though of course I advocate never asking for a comp you have not truly earned.

Contrary to what you may believe the staff does like winners as this is what encourages more play and more tips.

On this subject, if you have received good and courteous service from the keno staff and have a large win, a tip is definitely in order. On a moderate win a few dollars as a tip is appropriate as well. Of course if you win a net of $10 no one would expect a tip.

Remember, time is money, cash in those tickets on time!

Today’s ticket: Try a 2-2-1-1 if you are looking for a lot of action but are not willing to buck high odds to get a moderate win. Play the 3s through the 6s. You will have 10 total ways and if downtown you can play the pop 80 rate at 40 cents a way or even 20 cents a way at some places.

You get a lot of action on this ticket without bucking long odds as you have four 3s, three 4s, two 5s, and one 6 working for you every game. While the wins will not be nearly as large as if playing a 7- or 8-spot ticket they will be considerably more frequent.

Have more keno kwestions? Write to me at the email at the bottom of this column. Until then, the best of luck to you!

Pesach Kremen is a former UNLV Masters Gaming student, has won and placed in multiple local keno tournaments, and has written several academic papers on Keno. You can reach him at