To the untrained eye counterfeiting casino chips might seem like a sure-fire way to pick up some cash. Copy a few chips, toss them down on any old table game, and then cash up when you’re done. The reality is far less easy. Casinos are experts in spotting weak links and go to extraordinary measures to make sure their money is secure.
High tech items of exchange
Making a casino chip is a lot more complex than many people might imagine. They aren’t just stamped chunks of plastic, mass-produced as cheaply as possible. Instead, they are finely crafted items that nowadays possess a host of anti-fraud measures such as:
- Embedded microchips
- Serial numbers
- Casino branding and logos
Casino chips are manufactured by the same people who make credit cards, so each stage of production is meticulous in its security-focused design. Just trying to recreate the physical look of a casino chip in itself is not easy, and that’s before factoring in things like electronic safety devices.
Big brother is always watching
Another area casinos excel in is video surveillance. Even if you have crafted a batch of perfect counterfeit chips, how will you exchange them for money? There’s the bold option of heading straight to the cashier, but they will question where you got them from since you haven’t been playing. The alternative option is to buy some real chips and drip feed the fake ones into your pile. The problem is cameras are everywhere in modern casinos, watching every move. As well as cameras, dealers are trained to be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour. Then you’ve got security watching everyone like a hawk. And it’s only not the burly guys in uniform, but the small army of undercover guards to take into consideration.
What about crooks that steal chips?
For some, counterfeiting chips is too much work. They’d rather just steal the casino’s chips outright. First of all, this is extremely dangerous, not to mention illegal. On a practical level, casinos also take countermeasures against this in ways you might not be aware of. Embedded in many chips are RFID tags, mainly in high-value chips of $100 or more. This renders them useless when stolen. In 2009, Anthony Carleo stole $1.5 million in casino chips from a craps table at the Bellagio Hotel. RFID tags cannot only be monitored, but they can also be deactivated, making them completely worthless. When Carleo realised this, he tried to sell the chips for $25,000 – to police officers in a sting operation.
Online operators don’t have this issue
Cleary casinos have robust safety measures in place to protect their highly valued casino chips. Despite this, crooks will never give up looking for ways to trick the system. One type of operator that does not have to worry about this problematic issue is online casino. Since physical chips are not used, there is no way they can be counterfeited. Indeed, thanks to modern technology such as SSL encryption, licenses, audits and firewalls, online casinos are safer than ever. They have
The main reason why people rarely counterfeit casino chips is it’s just not worth it. Immense resources are required to make a convincing copy, which is largely rendered void thanks to embedded RFID chips in the genuine article. Casinos are big businesses, and part of the reason they grew so large is by protecting their assets. Few industries are so clued up on security as the gambling industry. For those after getting rich quick schemes, counterfeiting casino chips is one of the least likely to work.