The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has cancelled the first tournament of the Borgata Winter Poker Open and has frozen all prize funds till it completes an investigation of the use of “a significant number of counterfeit chips” during the event.
The NJDGE says that it has confirmed that a few people have used fake chips, but nobody has been charged in this case.
Borgata CEO Tom Ballance said:
Thus far, investigators have found that one or more tournament entrants improperly introduced a significant number of counterfeit chips into the tournament, gaining an unfair advantage and compromising the integrity of play for the event.
Expressing regrets for the cancellation of the tournament, he said that the company will co-operate with the NJDGE so that the investigation is completed at the earliest possible. Stating that the company gives great importance to integrity and customer support, he said that
it is extremely unfortunate that the criminal actions of these individuals can have a detrimental impact on more than 4,000 other entrants.
He also said that the Borgata has checked its chip stock thoroughly, adding that investigators have declared these chips safe for use in the Borgata Winter Poker Open’s other events, which will be held as scheduled.
Ballance said that the Borgata has thoroughly examined its remaining chips, adding that these have been cleared by investigators for use in dozens of other events in the poker tournament, which will be played as scheduled.
Players who had registered for the cancelled event do not know if they will get back their entrance fees. According to the Borgata, the NJDGE has ordered “that all unpaid prize money be held in trust until more details and resolution can be determined.”
The police have confirmed that the case is being investigated and that nobody has been arrested so far.
The cancelled event is the Borgata Winter Poker Open’s NLHE Big Stack tournament, a $560 buy-in event that started on Tuesday. When it was cancelled, only 27 players were left playing.
Players who wanted to take part in the event had to visit a registration zone in the Borgata, pay $560, and then find a table. They were then given a stack of 20,000 chips. If a player or players introduced fake chips into the game, they would gain unfair advantage over the others by not only having more chips than they paid for, but also lasting longer in the game.