Redeeming a gambling chip for cash (movie Skyfall)

I would have put this in Cafe Society but General Questions is more suitable:
In the movie Skyfall, James Bond finds a casino chip, takes it to a casino, and gets a suitcase of money.
Obviously, movies are unrealistic, but do casinos simply cash their chips when presented to them, no questions asked? Even if they wanted to verify that someone was the “rightful” holder of a chip, how could or would they do so? Wouldn’t the chip be irredeemable after a certain amount of time, or if taken out of the casino premises?

no idea about chips with denominations of “cases of cash” but I have mistakenly taken home £5 chips on numerous occasions and cashed them with no problem at a future time. Within the casino the chips are essentially cash and can be swapped for actual cash with no id check etc.

I have chips at home that I took for souvenaires

Yes, casinos will simply swap chips for cash “no questions asked” up to whatever amount pings the money laundering rules / guidelines in their jurisdiction (or at least - it was so for the place where I worked)

Do remember though - the “eye in the sky” knows what’s going on, once you get up to the stage of “suitcases” of cash if they don’t recognise or have a record of some sort of who you are (or have seen you playing over an extended time) then some questions are probably going to be asked.

Isn’t there some limit at which the casino is required to record the transaction for tax purposes?
I’m sure they’d rather not go through the hassle but I seem to recall that any payout over a certain amount required an ID so the IRS could track it - am I imagining this?

Given the chip is essentially an IOU, they are probably going to want to be sure they know the provenance of it. Suitcase of cash, they sure as hell will know exactly when and where the chip came to leave their possession.

One notes, they didn’t actually intend that Bond left with the suitcase.

I doubt this. If the chip is valid, it’s a debt to be paid. If a friend gave it to me to pay a debt, a nearby gambler shared his winnings with me, if I found it my a suit I bought at Goodwill, it’s valid. How could I prove any of those things and why would the casino care?

BTW, I have a short stack of chips here on my desk that I fiddle with while at work. I haven’t even been to some of these casinos, but I have no doubt I could cash them if I walked in the door, no questions asked.

While the OP question is fine, I don’t think the above is a great example as in that instance, the chip-for-suitcase swap was a means for the baddies to pay a hitman, so the whole point was to be discreet, and definitely not ask for ID.

Agreed. Let’s distinguish between two things:

(a) The US gov’t has certain laws about cash transactions, simply because they are watching out for money laundering. For example, If I take cash out of my own pocket, and deposit it into my own bank account, then over a certain cutoff, there will be forms to fill out, but no taxes to be paid. I would imagine that the same would apply for buying or cashing chips.

(b) Gambling winnings are taxable. But only if they are winnings. And over a certain amount, those taxes will be withheld. Cashing a chip that I bought last week is NOT a winning. For this reason, my guess is that the gov’t takes their withholding at the gaming table when I won the game, NOT when I cash my chips. On the other hand, what happens if I win a jackpot, and taxes are withheld, and then I lose the rest of the jackpot over the course of the evening? The losses offset the winnings, and I’m entitled to get my withholding back. But I think that my refund will have to wait until I file my return, and I’m going to have to document the loss. Can someone confirm or deny this?

I didn’t mean that the casino cared what happened after it went out the door, but they sure as hell will have tracked exactly the manner in which a suitcase of cash worth of money in the form of a chip came to be issued by their cashier (which is what I meant by it leaving their possession - not leaving their premises.)

They aren’t going to track $5 chips, but of you go to a cashier and and expect to obtain a $1million chip, they are going to make absolutely sure they know how that chip was issued. So when it comes back to be redeemed it will meet its own paper trail of authenticity again.

Sure, it can be exchanged for any amount of things, and pass from person to person, but given its intrinsic worth, you can be sure the casino knows exactly how and when and to whom it was originally issued, and will not be duped by a chip that might have escaped their ownership without such provenance.

This squares with my experience. The more valuable the chips, the closer they’re watched. Where I worked, to change up a 1k chip required supervisor approval at the table. No I’D required but member card wld be asked for.
Cashing out a few k at the cashier not a big deal. But 5 figures and above would be very carefully checked.

Ah, yes, that makes sense. Do casinos even issue chips of such great a value?

I did a quick search online and found that some casinos have issued $1 million chips for poker tournaments but I suspect they are carefully monitored and don’t have value after the tourney. It looks like there are $100,000 chips in use for high rollers at most casinos, but again, they are highly controlled as you mentioned above.

Casinos have even cancelled the value of chips after a theft, although they gave legitimate holders of chips some time to turn them in for cash. I assume people turning in those chips got extra scrutiny, and they probably have enough tracking of high value chips they they would know when they were issued.

I imagine by now they have microchips in such large value chips, I mean $50.00 car keys have a chip in them that the car itself can authenticate as belonging to the vehicle or not.

They do. In fact, nowadays they put them even in small denominations.

Given that the Casiono in question is in MacauChina it’s likely that large sums of cash trading hands is common.

On my first trip to Las Vegas in the fall of 1978 I discovered I still had a handful of 1 and 5 dollar chips as we were driving out of town. I stopped at gas station and filled the tank, paying for the gas with a few of the chips. I don’t know if this was technically legal, but the guy at the gas station was fine with the chips instead of cash.

As a general rule, it’s legal to pay a merchant in any method he’ll accept, providing he withholds any applicable sales taxes (and the form of payment is not contraband.)

I’ve never been asked for ID or anything when cashing out chips at the window. And like others, I have later cashed in chips that I’ve inadvertently taken home. I’ve noticed, though, that occasionally some casinos will rework or reissue their chips, and if older chips aren’t exchanged before a certain date, the holder is out of luck.

The second part of that doesn’t sound right to me. That’s like saying if I win the lottery, pay my taxes on the winnings and then blow all of the rest of the money, I’m entitled to my tax payout back.

BY THE POWER OF GOOGLE (play He-Man soundtrack in the background)

Right, and you don’t get that back just because you’ve blown the rest of the money.