New Jersey Issues Emergency Order To ‘Prevent Fraudulent Claims’ Of Playboy Casino Chip Redemption

Written By David Danzis on July 7, 2023
waitresses playboy club sands casino macau

The former Playboy Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City had not taken a legal wager in nearly 40 years. But state regulators are just now putting a halt to cashing in the gambling parlor’s expired chips.

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, issued an emergency order on Friday, putting an immediate stop to redeeming cheques from the Playboy casino. The casino ceased AC casinos operations in 1989 after state regulators denied Playboy’s ownership a gaming license.

In a memo dated July 7, Rebuck said the emergency action was necessary to preserve “public peace, health, safety, morals, good order and general welfare.” He went on to say:

“I am issuing this emergency order to prevent fraudulent claims on the chip redemption fund, which was intended only to compensate Playboy customers and was not intended for redemptions by chips subsequently acquired by other persons. Such fund was also not intended as a means to redeem chips that were supposed to have been destroyed but were not.”

NJ casinos fund set up in ’80s paying out until recently

According to the memo from Rebuck, the state Department of the Treasury has been administering a fund for almost four decades. The sole purpose was to honor casino chips from the short-lived Playboy casino. The account was funded through an $875,000 deposit made in 1989 by Elsinore, a part-owner of the Boardwalk casino, along with Playboy Enterprises.

The money was reserved for gamblers who had expired Playboy casino chips. Gamblers could redeem their chips with the state treasury until the fund ran out of money. No time limit was placed on the period for redemption.

Rebuck’s memo says 40 years 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.” It further states:

“At this time, any such chips are most likely to have been obtained by gift, inheritance or sale from the secondary market. The fund held by (the state) Treasury was meant for the benefit of the original patrons who have winnings to claim. It was never intended to be an open-ended invitation for subsequent acquirers of such chips to cash them in.”

Brief, yet storied, history of Atlantic City’s Playboy casino

Playboy sold its interest in the Atlantic City casino to Elsinore after the company’s infamous CEO, Hugh Hefner, was denied an NJ casino gaming license in 1982. Elsinore changed the property name to the Atlantis Hotel and Casino two years later.

The Atlantis was forced to close in 1989 after the NJ Casino Control Commission denied Elsinore’s casino license renewal. The treasury fund was also used to redeem expired Atlantis casino chips.

In June 1989, former US President Donald J. Trump paid $63 million for the property and renamed it Trump Regency. The Regency name stayed until 1996 when it became Trump World’s Fair at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Photo by Kin Cheung / AP Photo
David Danzis Avatar
Written by
David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

View all posts by David Danzis
Privacy Policy