CINCINNATI - Horseshoe Cincinnati Casino says it is missing $8,000 worth of chips, but if they were stolen, they might not do the thieves much good.
Most casinos have radio frequency identification packed into the chips. Those chips communicate with the gaming tables, and once a casino realizes the chips are gone, they can turn off the transmitters, making them virtually worthless.
Thieves must know that because stealing chips is "not a common occurrence in the state of Ohio," says Jessica Franks of the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
The casino says it will investigate what happened to the chips. Someone noticed the chips were missing after 6 p.m. Monday. Neither the commission nor Horseshoe officials would talk about their security practices except to say they are under a watchful eye.
"The commission does maintain a law enforcement presence at all four of Ohio's casinos, and those agents do work cooperatively with both casino personnel and local law enforcement," Franks said.
But there may have been a snag in that cooperation. While Horseshoe security says they made a report to Cincinnati police, the cops say they can find no such thing.
In July, four casino employees were indicted with two others in two separate gaming scams, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
In May, a state audit found that casino surveillance cameras were not working and had been down for several months. Follow-up checks found that the Horseshoe failed to bring the surveillance operation into compliance. The commission fined the casino $125,000.
Casino officials said the employees' indictment and surveillance camera malfunctions were not factors in the recent disappearance of the $8,000 in chips.