ATLANTIC CITY — Those 40-year-old Playboy Casino chips you had been meaning to cash in are now worthless.
Earlier this month, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement closed a $875,000 account dedicated to the cashing in of unused chips from the former casino, which later became Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. Division Director David Rebuck wrote in a ruling that the fund was meant to benefit original patrons of the casino who had winnings and was not an open-ended invitation for subsequent acquirers of such chips to cash them in.
“At this time, any such chips are most likely to have been obtained by gift, inheritance or sale from the secondary market,” Rebuck wrote in his July 7 ruling. “The fund held by (the state) Treasury was meant for the benefit of the original patrons who have winnings to claim.”
“The Division of Gaming Enforcement is working closely with the Casino Control Commission and the Department of Treasury, Unclaimed Property Administration, on this matter,” said Allison Inserro, public information officer for the state Attorney General’s Office. “We have no updates to offer at this time.
Casino Control Commission officials referred all comments to the Attorney General’s Office.
In 1982, the Casino Control Commission denied the application of Hugh Hefner, CEO of Playboy Enterprises, for a plenary casino license while granting the application for licensure of Playboy’s partner in the joint venture that operated the Playboy Hotel and Casino, Elsinore.
Elsinore was ordered to deposit a fund with the State Treasury in the amount of $875,000 to cover redemptions of both Playboy and Atlantis chips. This money was reserved for gamblers who were owed money by Playboy or Atlantis, with such debts represented by gaming chips. Gamblers could redeem their chips with the Treasury until the fund ran out of money.
No time limit was placed on the period for redemption, according to the ruling.
Despite the property closing, the unnamed company Playboy contracted with to destroy the chips in inventory failed to do so and those chips remained in circulation, according to the ruling. Playboy chips can be found on eBay, Amazon and secondhand sites like all-chips.com.
“Almost 40 years have passed since the casino property, which no longer exists, was operated under the Playboy name. This is more than sufficient time for actual Playboy gamblers to have redeemed any chips or other instruments of gaming winnings owed by the former casino,” Rebuck said. “At this time, any such chips are most likely to have been obtained by gift, inheritance or sale from the secondary market.”