Discovery of Fake Chips Shuts Down Atlantic City Poker Tournament

Players looking forward to the Borgata Winter Open poker tournament – held at the Borgata in Atlantic City, arguably the city’s toniest land-based casino property – encountered a situation that was anything but exciting this week.

The tournament was put on hold with the discovery of fake poker chips, this according to local New Jersey news web site

Event stalled on first day of play

The affected event, the Big Stack, No Limit Hold ‘Em competition, began on Thursday evening. It was stopped on Friday with 27 players left at the tables and was expected to get underway again over the weekend.

Fifty other events surrounding the tournament would carry on as planned, said Joe Lupo, who serves as senior vice president for the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

“The integrity of our games and our operations is of the utmost importance to us. We are determined to investigate this incident thoroughly, and will work with law enforcement to prosecute any illegal activity to the fullest extent of the law in the event any findings are discovered,” Lupo was quoted as saying.

The matter is also being looked into by local law enforcement authorities.

“The Division of Gaming Enforcement and New Jersey State Police are aware of a situation involving counterfeit chips. The matter is currently under investigation,” remarked a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Lisa Spengler.

Borgata has emerged as leader in nascent New Jersey online poker industry

While this incident certainly doesn’t shed a favorably light upon the Borgata, or the 2014 Winter Open, which will award a $3 million cash prize at its culmination next week, officials said that the phony chips scandal has no bearing on the Borgata’s real money online gambling operation.

New Jersey became the third state in the nation to introduce some form of regulated real money online betting when it saw the start of its market nearly two months ago, in late November.

The Garden State passed legislation to regulate real money online poker and casino games in February of last year, and in the short time it has been operational, not only has New Jersey emerged as the pre-eminent state to offer Internet wagering, but the Borgata leads the pack in terms of the popularity of its online wagering offerings.

The only two other states that have legalized the placement of online wagers – Nevada and Delaware – have relatively small populations. Delaware counts less than a million permanent residents, whereas Nevada comes in at just under 2.8 million citizens.

By contrast, New Jersey has 9 million people living within its borders, making it by far the largest such regulated market. As such, New Jersey has received a great deal of attention both running up to the commencement of its legalized Internet gambling market and since it got going officially on November 26.

Many other states will undoubtedly use New Jersey as a model as they look into passing online betting laws themselves. A handful of states are looking into doing just that, among them such heavily populated places as California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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