Poker Chip Cleaning tops the Post-Pandemic Agenda for Global Casinos

Image Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

Safety has become a prime concern with various businesses all over the world, live gaming being one of them. Earlier we wouldn’t have thought of this with such intensity, but it has now become extremely relevant as people grapple with the spread of germs amid the pandemic. Which brings us to this question: How exactly are poker chips cleaned? Do they use a dishwasher? A UV cleaner? Or the age-old hand-washing method?

A crucial component of the gaming experience, poker chips pose a tricky dilemma for casinos as they prepare to re-open in various regions after being temporarily shut down due to Covid-19. As you all must know, chips constantly change hands at casinos and poker rooms – from players fiddling with chips at the table to exchanging them with a dealer or cashier.

One of the major casinos, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa did resume business on May 21, and here is a glimpse of how they’re trying to abide by the sanitization and safety rules:

Source: Tampa Bay Times

Jim Allen, Seminole Gaming CEO stated that Hard Rock has come up with a ‘creative’ process for disinfecting chips, although they didn’t really provide any more info on the same.

Along the same lines, the Palm Beach Kennel Club hopes in the South of Florida hopes to limit the spread of germs by preventing players and dealers from switching tables. Additionally, chips will be isolated to specific tables and can only leave the game in three ways – the drop box, the dealer tip box or by being cashed out at the cage. Once chips are removed from the play, they won’t be re-used again until they’re sanitized.

In fact, the club plans on disinfecting the chips by hand-washing them individually using cleaning products that meet CDC guidelines for use and are effective against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and bloodborne pathogens.

At the Big Easy Casino in Hallandale, the GM says their employees will routinely clean the facility throughout the day using a spray gun with disinfectant. The casino also bought new playing chips and plans on having them cleaned daily with the gun. It is also stated that they’ll only be operating half their card tables, making it easier to continuously swap out clean chips.

Meanwhile, chip cleaning businesses have witnessed a recent surge in Las Vegas. Elite Chip Care is one such company that utilizes ultrasonic cleaners and a convection oven in its cleaning process, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. The physical process reveals just how grimy chips can become over time. The article says, ‘When a chip is dropped into the water, a grey cloud of dirt rises alongside hundreds of microscopic bubbles, creating a sludge at the bottom.’

Indeed, options like hand-washing and gun spraying would amount to long hours of casino operations, however there is a potential new option that has come to light by a UK-based manufacturer and supplier of gaming products, unveiling a portable chip sanitizer that can clean up to 100 chips in 2-3 minutes.

Source: TCSJohnHuxley

The company, TCSJohnHuxley has devised this cleaning alternative which is roughly the size of a desk drawer, utilizing UV-C light to rapidly sanitize chips. UV-C light inactivates microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions.

The company says they’ve already received loads of interest in the device, which they will begin shipping out for casinos soon. This particular device is priced at $1500 and has a capacity of 100 chips in one go. The company is also developing a stacking trolley, which will allow for 600 chips to be processed in the same time range.

2020 is slowly starting to enter a new era altogether. What do you think of these alternatives?