What is a ‘Soft Count Room’?
A soft count room is a place where a casino carries out its soft count – a count of all of its banknotes available. The soft count is distinct from a hard count, where coins and chips are counted, although both may use the same room for the count in practice.
The soft count room is often protected by an extremely high level of security, due to the large amounts of cash being processed, and is usually off-limits even to many of the casino staff. Professional counters are employed to carry out soft counts, using a combination of manual and automated methods.
‘Soft Count Room’ Explained
In the past, a soft count would be carried out by having two professional counters carry out independent counts of the total number of banknotes. If the two counts did not match each other, the count would have to be repeated until they did. This method has now been replaced due to increasing computerisation and automation of the process, although it can still be found at smaller casinos and gambling rooms which take less money and do not have expensive banknote counting machines and detailed computer software.
However, for larger casinos, advanced banknote counting machines will be employed which can count notes as well as separate them by denomination for rapid processing. This process is carried out in the soft count room and allows a casino to carry out a soft count much more quickly and to notice if any cash has been unaccounted for. Many of the latest machines are capable of counting banknotes as quickly as 20 per second, although some manual sorting is still required on the count table to prepare the notes before using the machines. The count will still be carried out by professional accountants, however, and aided by detailed computer databases and spreadsheets.