a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, June 21, 2010

All eyes on the gold

Sean Sullivan, general manager of The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, explains how radio frequencies will track microchips in gambling chips after table games open July 8 at the North Strabane Township, Pa., casino. (Observer-Reporter photo)

Cheating at blackjack won't be easy after the table game opens next month at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino near Washington, Pa.

The gaming tables there are being outfitted with electronic devices under the felt that will use radio frequency to read microchips inside the gambling chips and allow casino security to know the value of bets at all times.

“Counterfeiting of chips is virtually eliminated,”  casino manager Sean Sullivan said to the media circus that gathered today at the North Strabane Township casino after the expensive, high-tech chips were delivered under intense security.

The cases of chips were unwrapped inside a sally port by casino workers dressed in blue coveralls without pockets to make it harder for them to slip a handful into their clothing.

This casino has already exceeded anticipated revenues, while also making the county a hot tourist destination. At the same time, shares of the pot from the existing slots machines have been going back to the local communities and making the county richer by the moment.

Gamblers' money has been helping to support the local literacy program, restore historic buildings and digitize patient records at local hospitals. That pot of gold will only increase after cards and dice begin to fly at the casino on Racetrack Road on July 8.

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