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In Skyfall movie Bond fights an assassin and captures a casino token in the assassin's stuff which he later cashes out. Clearly the token is used as payment for the assassination. Note that assassination fare is likely very high so it's a token that yields some really huge sum of money, not a regular casino token that yields several dozen to several hundred USD (or equivalent thereof).

Why is it done this way? What's the significance of using a casino token except that it leads Bond to the casino and that lets the plot progress?

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To make it safe. Means assassin doesn't need to carry cash or to fool police. –  Ankit Sharma Apr 24 '13 at 13:28

3 Answers 3

First of all, let's clarify the amount. In the casino, when Bond cashes in the chip, he receives a case that is stuffed full of packets of large bills. I would estimate that the amount was at least a million USD, but probably much more.

I believe that the point of using the casino chip is that it offers both sides several advantages. For the assassin, it offers greater flexibility in how and when he collects his fee.

For both sides, it carefully decouples the crime itself from the payment for the crime. The chip also allows the customer to ensure that the job has been completed properly before paying out, and simultaneously giving the assassin a more meaningful form of IOU.

For the customer, it allows him to make the payment using an existing system for paying out large amounts of money. "This guy came in and won a whole bunch of money gambling." It also gives the client an opportunity to kill the assassin and so avoid paying the fee at all.

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I might add that it's also non-interactive. The client could leave the chip anywhere in an envelope where the assassin could get it. The assain then picks ups his payment after the job, and the client and assassin NEVER have to meet face to face.

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That could be done with a bank-account (or even with a suitcase), too. Still good point. –  Napoleon Wilson Apr 24 '13 at 16:51

Contrary to other answers, I believe the high-value chip from the exclusive casino would not be a "safe" way to compensate a hit man. If the police found the chip on the hit man, they would know to investigate the casino.

Indeed, as soon as Bond found the chip, he went to the casino, to try to find out who ordered the hit.

Of course, in Skyfall, it turns out that the person who ordered the hit was Silva, who WANTED to leave a clue to entice Bond. The chip was meant to serve as a clue that would lead Bond into Silva's trap.

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It's safer because it's anonymous... there's no way to know who deposited for the chip. The employer probably has no links with the casino at all. However I like your answer about the clue - I don't believe anyone else has mentioned that. Finally I'd mention "21" where the girls are tipped with chips as currency, it's untraceable. –  Liath May 21 '13 at 10:54
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@Liath, the chip is far from anonymous. First, it comes from the casino, meaning an investigator would know the employer was in contact with the casino. Also, the chip was not a regular $5 chip, but entitled its holder to a briefcase stuffed with cash, so obviously the employer worked with the casino to set that up. Overall, for an investigator, the chip would be a valuable "lead" -- just as it was for Bond. –  Shiz Z. May 22 '13 at 15:07
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Can't argue with that - although I assumed they'd pick a casino which was used to rich people winning and losing large amounts of money. Perhaps after all this is a slightly moot point given (as you said) the entire point was so that it could be traced! –  Liath May 22 '13 at 15:52

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