I was given the unique responsibility of using an ultraviolet light to examine all of the floats, which are the racks that hold the chips, at a casino where I worked about ten years ago. The cage had discovered that someone had been defrauding the establishment by playing at the tables with forged $100 black checks. They were eventually joined at the cage by a number of other unwitting participants. We were eventually able to locate 68 of them, the majority of which were at craps tables.
You could be forgiven for thinking that something like this happens all the time; however, creating a fake chip is a time-consuming and usually fruitless activity.
The first disadvantage that players will face is that each casino uses its own unique chip. The material, weight, color, and feel of the value checks used in each casino differ from those used in its neighbors. You would benefit greatly from specializing in something. Furthermore, sticking to a single gambling establishment increases the likelihood of being discovered.
Reasons Why Making Fake Chips Is Difficult
Casino chips are typically made of molded plastic or “clay,” which is another name for clay. Checks, cheques, and tokens are other names for chips. As previously stated, they differ in weight, style, design, marks, and color from one casino to the next.
Casino chips are typically all the same color scheme, with values corresponding to the following denominations:
- White costs one dollar, red costs five dollars, green costs twenty-five dollars, and black costs one hundred dollars.
- $500 for purple $1,000 for orange
- However, if you ask any artist or designer, or even if you just want to paint your house, you will quickly realize that there are more variations of each of these colors than you can imagine.
As a result, while it is possible that all casinos will use green $25 chips, the color itself is distinct, making counterfeiters difficult to replicate. As a result, the majority of check forgers begin their work by obtaining white $1 checks from the casino they intend to defraud. They are a suitable material, which aids in the counterfeiting of higher-value chips by contributing to their weight and feel.
Even with that advantage, painting a white chip the appropriate shade of black without affecting its weight or feel is a difficult task. Furthermore, the color of the stripes is present on each and every chip; it is not just black. Even if the counterfeiters are able to perfectly replicate the colors, remember to check for UV markings, maintain a similar weight and feel, and completely match the hues, there is still the inlay on each chip.
This contains the name of the casino, the denomination, and, depending on the total value of the chip, possibly a slew of additional security features. Due to security features such as holograms, microdots, and color-shifting ink, high-value casino chips are notoriously difficult to replicate.
Some of them even include radio frequency transmitters; these are known as RFID chips and can be found in high-limit rooms in Las Vegas and Macau. You Will Be Caught and Heavily Punished But, to be honest, the amount of effort required to produce phony chips is not what deters the majority of people who try to sell them. Every casino is required to keep a record of the high-value chips that are played in order to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering legislation.
Assume you have more than $500 or $1,000 in chips and want to buy them (purple or orange). In this case, the floor supervisor will contact surveillance and request that your photograph be taken. Anyone who fails to pay close attention to the large number of cameras and the fact that surveillance film may be rewound for weeks or even months to track what are essentially individual inspections will be sorry.
If you attempt to enter the casino with high-value chips, the casino staff will make a concerted effort to obtain your name and identification information. If you are unable to do so, it will only increase their suspicions. We are required by US authorities to request your ID and Social Security number before allowing you to continue playing if you attempt to buy in or cash out more than $10,000. Other countries have laws against money laundering as well.
If you are caught using counterfeit casino chips, you could face a variety of felony charges; therefore, if you want to avoid going to jail and paying large fines, you should avoid this dirty business.
The vast majority of counterfeiting involves $100 checks
Chips with a higher values will be detected immediately, and they will be easy to track. Because it is not worth their time to painstakingly hand paint lower denomination chips and replace the inlays with new ones, the vast majority of counterfeiters stick to making $100 bills.
At one point, businesses based in Asia were selling phony inlays on the dark web. If you sent them the chip, which you could send to them, they would print the inlays. Despite the fact that this made counterfeiting easier, it came at a high cost. As a result, it is almost certain that the $100 chip was the most heavily targeted.
It’s possible that the US Customs Service shut down some of these activities in response to casino pressure, but it’s also possible that they’ve simply retreated even further into the shadows. The counterfeiter we discussed at the start of this article clearly planned ahead for some things, but not for others. Database searches for people who played craps but did not make a cash bet The use of ins assisted in limiting the field, and cameras filled in the gaps. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Cons, scams, and other types of swindles
In a legitimate casino, the possibility of being given a bogus chip is almost inconceivable. Customers should be cautious when shopping outside of the casino. False money exchangers have come to the obvious conclusion that it is far safer to pass counterfeit chips outside of casinos than inside of them over time. People have been falling victim to various casino chip scams since the city of Las Vegas was founded, the most common of which is known as the “bait and switch,” and it involves the replacement of your real chips with counterfeit ones.
The presence of millions of gullible tourists makes it a prime location for a wide range of scams, but passing fake chips off as genuine remains a local favorite. The key to this is not understanding all of the safety features built into all of the chips scattered throughout the city. It means refusing to allow someone to take advantage of your greed in order to persuade you to suspend your disbelief.
You are not going to give in to the Nigerian Prince who claims to want to deposit millions of dollars into your bank account, and you should also not consider buying an orange chip (worth $1,000) for $700 because the seller lacks an ID to cash it out, or because he was kicked out of the casino and cannot return, or for any other reason.
One of the cons with more intricate schemes that I was made aware of in the early 1990s appears to be still active in today’s society. If something appears to be too good to be true, it probably is. This adage is perhaps more applicable in Las Vegas than anywhere else in the world. Don’t bet your money on the legitimacy of the chips you’re trying to cash in when there are a thousand other things you could bet on instead.