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Last Updated: September 24, 2015

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Lost and Expired Tickets Review

Introduction

When you make a bet in a Nevada casino you will be given a flimsy piece of paper to present if the ticket wins. It is not unusual for players to lose tickets, or forget about them until after they expire. The sports books are not required to honor either type of these kinds of problem tickets, but they almost always do.

If you lose a ticket, you should report it as soon as possible. You will be asked to fill out a form, asking for as much detail as possible to identify your exact bet in the system. If the bet is located in the system, then it will be "locked out." Then, if anyone tries to cash it, the machines will not accept it. If somebody else already found and cashed your ticket, you are out of luck. If you find it eventually, bring it in, and be prepared to prove your identity, and they should unlock the bet and pay you. If you never find it, and nobody else did, then after the expiration period the sports book will honor the bet.

According to Nevada Gaming Regulation 22.080, a spots bet can expire in as little as 30 days after the date of the event. If you find yourself with an expired ticket, the vast majority of the time the sports book will honor it anyway if you mail it in, per the instructions on the back of the ticket. They will have to verify that the bet really did win, because it will no longer be in the system. They may also check it against a list of lost tickets paid. In the unlikely event that the accounting department denies the ticket, I would suggest going through the chain of command in the casino, and politely ask them to honor the bet anyway. Based on personal experience, I would recommend against presenting an expired ticket in person. I think you are more likely to be denied that way.

If you do get denied, all is not lost. You might file a dispute with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and try to get them on any technicality you can. For example, regulation 22.150 says, "Each book shall adopt, conspicuously display at its licensed premises, and adhere to written, comprehensive house rules governing wagering transactions with patrons." Many sports books have their rules in a small font on a sign too high to read. The Wynn's sign is a good example. I would think if the expiration period in the posted rules was not in plain view, then it wouldn't be valid. Another idea would be to find a valued patron of the casino and ask him/her to use their status as a good customer to have the expiration date overlooked. I've never heard of a valued customer being denied an expired ticket.

You should not be lazy about letting a ticket expire, counting on the casino's good faith to pay it anyway. They have to do extra paperwork for every expired ticket they pay.

The following list of sports ticket expiration policies is grouped by sports book family. If you are not sure which family a particular casino belongs to, please check my sports betting appendix 3.

Sports Ticket Expirations

Group Sports Ticket Expiration
Boyd/Coast 60 days
Cantor 120 days
Golden Nugget 120 days
Harrah's 1 year
Hilton 120 days
Jerry's Nugget 30 days
M 120 days
MGM-Mirage 120 days
Poker Palace 30 days
South Point 120 days
Station Casinos 120 days
Stratosphere2 120 days
Terrible's 120 days
Treasure Island 120 days
William Hill 120 days
Wynn 120 days


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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