Gila River casinos giving back to Arizona nonprofits

Players aren't the only ones who win big when they gamble at all three Gila River Hotel & Casino locations.

Cashing out at a kiosk means giving back. The program, which has been ongoing since the end of 2019, allows people at their kiosks to donate their change to a nonprofit.

"[When] you hit cash out, it will give you a TITO Ticket, we call it," said a spokesperson for Gila River Hotels. "That TITO ticket can tell you how much money you can redeem at the ATM machine, so it will tell you [for example] ten dollars and 15 cents."

That 15 cents - or any change - can be donated to one or all four nonprofits chosen by the casino.

"I've been in casinos before, I know that you donate six cents, eight cents, 'cause you don't want all that change in your pocket," said the spokesperson. "But we had no idea that after ten or 11 months that it was going to translate into $25,000 additional dollars."

That change added up to $125,511.93. Beyond Autism, a nonprofit that focuses on education beyond the classroom was one of the recipients of last year's donations.

Officials with Beyond Autism say the money goes to keeping up to date with therapies, new equipment and an ever-changing curriculum.

The Foundation for Blind Children, UMOM and Hope Community Services were the other three nonprofits that split last year's donation.

This year, the Special Olympics of Arizona, Friends of Foster Children, Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona and the Homeless Youth Connection were chosen to be the recipients of this year's donations.

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