A casino operates by using casino chips as vouchers for how much money you are playing with. These casino chips are usually small clay coins but represent real money. Thus, many crooks find chips appealing, as a way of ripping off a casino. Within this article, we tell you about spotting fake casino chips and what to do.
If you have ever thought about trying to rip off a casino by using fake casino chips, we strongly advise you to reconsider. One thing that most people do not know is casinos ensure that players cannot get away with using fake chips. In fact, you have a better chance of creating counterfeit bills that forging fake casino chips. Casinos keep an eye on all chips and know exactly how to spot fake ones. In this article, we give an insight on some of the methods used by casinos around the world.
Spotting Fake Casino Chips
Whenever you come across chips in a casino, there are a few things to consider. Casino chips will all have the same texture and weight. In addition, they are usually either clay or ceramic. The weight of a casino chip usually is somewhere between 8.5 and 11 grams. However, that can vary depending on the casino you are playing at.
In addition, casino chips also tend to have a very distinct colour. This is the first step in spotting fake casino chips. Casinos will use a very precise colour and if the shade is anything slightly off, the chip is a fake. Here is a basic view of what casino chip colours look like:
- White or Blue – $1
- Red “Nickels” – $5
- Green “Quarters” – $25
- Black – $100
- Purple “Barneys” – $500
- Orange “Pumpkins” – $1,000
The colours above are not a global key for all casinos but most in the United States tend to stick to this colour code. Sometimes, a fake chip can appear almost identical to a real casino chip. The only way of telling them apart is by placing them next to each other to see the difference in shade.
The Casino Stamp
Casinos also tend to leave a hallmark stamp on each of their chips. For instance, that can be the logo of the casino or maybe just a hallmark signing. This is what makes the casino chip unique to a specific casino and cannot be used in other ones. Sometimes, this small hallmark stamp will require a magnifying glass to spot. This tiny detail makes it very difficult for crooks to perfectly replicate a real casino chip. The chip also tends to include the logo of the casino it belongs to on it.
If you or a casino come across a chip that does not have any logo on it, you can tell that something is not right. However, at times, you may come across casino chips that have the logo of another casino. This does not necessarily mean that the casino chips are fake. Some casinos use “foreign chips” that belong to other casinos. This only happens if the same company owns both establishments.
What a Casino Does to Stop Fake Chips
Fake casino chips have been around for ages. Do not think that you are the first one to have thought about it. No, sadly, there have been many instances in the past of people who thought they can rip off a casino by introducing fake casino chips. If it is done correctly, essentially, it is easy money to win. You do not even risk the chance of losing it, you simply go inside a casino and steal their money. The only risk taken is being caught and thrown into prison.
Because using fake casino chips seems to be an easy target for criminals, casinos take many precautions to ensure that this does not happen. It is for this reason that casinos also have a very strong policy against players that use fake casino chips with massive punishments. The majority of crooks that use fake casino chips tend to only use low value ones. That means anything below $25. Casinos keep track of their higher value casino chips, thus making it harder to get away with a crime. Nowadays, thanks to modern technology, casinos use a variety of cameras, UV markings and RFID Technology for surveillance of what happens on the casino floor.
There is virtually a casino camera at every table and overlooking the whole entire casino floor. These cameras run 24/7 and are monitored by staff at all times. Above each and every single table, there is a camera that monitors how a player is getting on with their game. They also keep an eye on the steps that a player takes, from exchanging money into chips, to playing, to leaving the table and eventually cashing out. With camera surveillance, the security staff are able to keep tabs on any dodgy behaviour, should anything surface.
Hallmarks with UV
Casinos also tend to use UV ink to mark small logos or hallmarks. This ensures that the chip can only reveal its true identity under a UV light. It is a fast and effective way for the casino to tell if a chip is real or fake. It is definitely the way forward for spotting fake casino chips.
Last but not least, casinos also tend to keep track of their chips by using RFID technology. Essentially, this is a security tag which is embedded into the casino chip, so that the gambling house is able to track the activity of the chip. With RFID Technology, casinos are able to monitor the whereabouts of casino chips, even the ones that have been stolen. One of the major benefits that security tags provide is identifying transactions made at each table. The casinos can keep an eye on RFID chips thanks to scanning devices.
What to do if you find a chip?
Another thing you ought to be cautious about is finding casino chips on the floor. Sadly, casinos do not believe in “finders-keepers.”
In the odd chance that you happen to find a casino chip, the best thing you can do is to return it. Most casinos are very strict when it comes to finding missing chips. If a player fails to return a lost chip, they could be seen as stealing the chip. It all depends on the regulations the casino has.
Many players do not know about the strict rules on returning missing casino chips. They may pocket them or even proceed to play with the chips at a table. Whilst some casinos do not have rules on lost and found chips, the majority do. This could end up with being banned from the casino or even thrown out.
Many admirers and collectors of antique casino chips pay good cash for rare and unique chips. A rare or unique chip is usually one from a closed down casino. Some scammers try and create counterfeit casino chips to steal from a collector. Although, they are not successful in doing so.
These collectors know exactly what chip they are looking for. Thus, a crook with a fake chip is not going to pull a fast one on them. It is assumed that collectors of rare chips can spot fake ones even more so than a casino!
Why using fake chips could go wrong
In 2019, Ronnie E. Lewis, a Rochester local, was arrested on the charge of trying to exchange fake chips at a casino. The then 62-year-old entered the Del Lago Resort and Casino in New York, with the sole intention of cashing in $600 worth of fake casino chips. He was arrested by New York Troopers at the scene of the crime.
Lewis was testing out his scheme and it has been noted that if he was successful, he would continue to dupe the casino out of thousands of dollars. His charges for arrest were second-degree of criminal possession of a forged instrument and the use of unlawful gaming property. Both of these are felonies. His jail time for these crimes is up to 7 years incarcerated.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, we hope that know you know what to do when spotting fake casino chips in a casino. Casinos keep tabs on these safety precautions as they want to ensure their protection and security from thieves. In fact, the United States is one of the strictest countries when it comes to using counterfeit chips. Casinos in the US are known to throw crooks in jail for between 6-10 years if caught. On top of that, they should also pay fines of up to $10,000 per crime count.
Thus, for future reference, be extremely cautious when playing in a casino. It could even end up poorly if you find casino chips on the floor and do not return them. Remember that casinos keep tabs on every bet and action there. Thus, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Ensure that you only play with how much you have and nothing more. The other option is to avoid casinos all together and play online with some of the best jackpot games available.