Gamblers looking to grab a casino chip from the former Playboy Casino are now officially out of luck. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission has closed an $875,000 account intended for cashing out chips from a former Atlantic City casino.
The move puts an end to the unique situation that began with the hotel’s opening in the early 1980s – approx. The funds will be held in the state’s Unclaimed Property Division and will require state legislation to formally transfer the funds to another state agency or use them.
Playboy refused to license the toys
In July, the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) announced that it would no longer exchange chips for cash after maintaining the account since 1982. The fund stems from Playboy’s refusal to obtain a gaming license in 1982.
Elsinore Corporation, Playboy’s partner in the venture, kept the casino open but changed the name as directed by the arbitrator. The casino became Atlantis in 1984, but Elsinore’s license was also denied renewal in 1989.
Games organizers forced Elsinore to deposit $875,000 into the state treasury to cover the cashing out of Playboy and Atlantis chips.
“These funds were reserved for gamblers who were owed money by Playboy or Atlantis, with these debts represented by gaming chips.” NJDGE Director Chris Reebuck said. “Gamblers can redeem their chips at the Treasury until the fund runs out. No time limit has been set for the redemption period.
Lots of chips left in circulation
In July, the agency said it would no longer dispense chips. Playboy contracted with a company at the time to destroy its stock of chips, but that did not happen, Rybak said. This means that there may be more chips that gamblers have never used. The order to stop disbursing them now is intended to prevent fraudulent claims.
“It has been nearly 40 years since the casino property, which no longer exists, has been operated under the Playboy name,” Reebuck said. “This is more than enough time for actual Playboy gamblers to redeem any chips or other tools for gaming winnings owed to the previous casino. Currently, any such chips will likely be acquired via gift, inheritance or secondary market sale.”
“The fund held by the Treasury was intended for the benefit of the original beneficiaries who had profits to claim. It was never intended to be an open invitation for subsequent acquirers of these chips to cash them out.”
The belief that excess chips were still present was confirmed in 2008 when a construction worker in Hernando, Mississippi, found a jackpot of chips in a concrete slab while digging as part of a community infrastructure project. The company responsible for destroying the chips said it did not know how they ended up buried more than 1,000 miles from the casino.
Residents quickly filled buckets with potato chips, prompting them to… The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office begins an investigation.
“At first people thought it was neat and people were grabbing a bunch of them, including the mayor and the police chief, and I understand that,” said Daniel Hennigan, a gaming consultant and former gaming organizer. Atlantic City Press.
Chip owners may not be able to make money from their chips anymore, but at least they have a collector’s item with an interesting backstory.