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Borgata Moves Towards High-Tech Chips After Poker Scam

The business of poker tournaments has become a big one across the world, and with big money, usually comes people who want to scam their way into the money. That was the case this past Winter when a North Carolina poker player was caught using fake chips at a major tournament in New Jersey.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has responded to the chip scandal by introducing new tournament poker chips for upcoming events. The chips have a wide array of color, and more importantly, have a way that the authentication of the chips can be detected by use of an ultraviolet light.

"This was very expensive, but very necessary," said Borgata Senior Vice-President Joe Lupo. "In order to have the biggest tournaments in Atlantic City and as the market leader, we need to ensure the integrity of the games."

In the Big Stack, no-limit event that was held at the Borgata this past Winter, Christian Lusardi was arrested for using chips from outside of the casino during the tournament. Lusardi's alleged chip scam has shed light on an industry that has become among the most profitable in the world, and exemplified the need for increased security.

"In some of these tournaments, players are walking away with millions of dollars," said Analyst Garret Brice. "And when that type of money is involved, there are always individuals and groups that are looking to gain an edge. I wouldn't be surprised to see more casinos going to this type of security."

The tournament in which the counterfeit chips were found has yet to be completed. Play was halted at the Borgata and play will resume once a full investigation into the fake chips has concluded. The tournament had reached the final three tables. Prior to that, prize money had already been awarded to those who were knocked out of the tournament.

In addition to adding the new chips, the Borgata has taken several other measures to ensure fair play during tournaments. Officials of the casino will be randomly checking chips throughout the day, making sure of their authenticity. Additional security will also be hired and on duty for live tournament events throughout the year.

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