2014 started out terribly for the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Their Borgata Winter Open event was famously rocked by scandal, when Christian Lusardi used counterfeit chips in a $2 million guaranteed poker tournament. Thankfully, Lusardi was busted after he flushed 180 chips down a hotel toilet. But the scandal has still plagued the Borgata and poker in general.
That said, Atlantic City’s most successful casino have gone high tech by rolling out new poker chips at the Borgata Spring Open, which are designed to prevent cheating. Approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), these chips include intricate designs and more colors along with authentication markers that can only be seen under ultra violet light. Another measure that the Borgata took includes hiring extra staff who can check the chips in play.
“We will be checking chips randomly throughout the day using a new process involving the UV lights,” said Joe Lupo, Senior Vice President of the Borgata.
While it’s great that the Borgata are taking such steps to prevent cheating, it definitely comes at a cost. “This was very expensive, but very necessary,” Lupo said. “In order to have the biggest tournaments in Atlantic City and as the market leader, we need to ensure the integrity of the games.”
With the microscope that the Borgata Spring Open was under, it’s definitely good that extra precautions have been taken to prevent future incidents like Lusardi’s cheating scandal. This is also good press for New Jersey poker in general, where both live and online players will be pleased to see that the Borgata and DGE are going the extra mile to prevent cheating.
But as for if this new high-tech chip system will translate across the industry, don’t count on it, at least for now. As Lupo pointed out, this was a very expensive process. Perhaps the bigger organizations like the WSOP and WPT will consider these chips for future reference. However, you won’t be seeing any high-tech measures put into place in a $200 buy-in weekday event at the Mandalay Bay any time soon.