Monday April 14,2014 : Borgata ChipGate Resolution : Event 1 Borgata Winter Open
Event 1 of the Borgata Winter Open was canceled by order of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (the “Division”) on January 18, 2014, and Borgata was ordered to hold all remaining prize pool funds pending the final order of the Division.
On April 14, 2014, the Division entered its final order, fully resolving this matter. The resolution process started with the arrest of Christian Lusardi on January 24, 2014, for allegedly introducing counterfeit chips into Event 1. This arrest was the result of the diligence and expertise of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and the New Jersey State Police Casino Gaming Bureau. The alleged unlawful activity of Lusardi was the sole cause for the cancelation of the tournament, as the Division’s investigation determined that Borgata was in compliance with all regulatory requirements in connection with Event 1.
As a result of the cancellation of Event 1, and in accordance with the Division’s order, certain entrants are entitled to a refund to be disbursed by Borgata. The Division has ordered that all of the remaining prize money — totaling $1,433,145 – be returned to certain eligible entrants, as determined in the Division’s order. Borgata is also refunding all revenue it collected from eligible entrants ($60 per entry) for a total of $288,720. Borgata will disburse a total of $1,721,805 as follows:
- 2,143 entrants who may have been impacted* by the counterfeit chips, but did not finish in the top 450, will receive a total of $560 each, which includes a refund of their $60 entry fee.
- Players who were in the final 27 will receive $19,323 each.
- Entrants who finished in 28th to 450th place, who have already received their prize money, will not receive any further disbursements. Borgata has paid a total of $892,690 to this group to date.
- All entrants in this group who have not yet been paid will receive the amount they would have been entitled to according to their order of finish.
After conducting a thorough analysis, Borgata and the Division determined that 2,218 entrants were not impacted by the counterfeit chips in any way. To make this determination, among other things, we examined whether players had played in the same room and during the same sessions as Lusardi. Those players who “busted out” through normal poker play — without being impacted by Lusardi or the counterfeit chips he allegedly introduced – are not eligible to receive a disbursement. *Customers eligible for the $560 refund are those who may have played in the same venue (Event Center, Poker Room or Signature Room) during the same session with Lusardi, or otherwise could have could have reasonably been determined to have been impacted by counterfeit chips allegedly introduced by Lusardi. These determinations were made as follows:
- All entrants who played Tuesday, January 14th in Day One-A beginning at 10 am will receive a refund of $560, with the exception of those entrants who played in the Event Center and busted out prior to 4:30 pm, as those entrants could not have come into contact with Lusardi or any of the counterfeit chips he allegedly introduced.
- Those entrants who played Wednesday, January 15th in Day One-B beginning at 10am and played in the Event Center will receive a refund of $560. All entrants who played in the Signature Room and Poker Room on that day and busted out will not receive the $560 refund, as those entrants could not have come into contact with Lusardi or any of the counterfeit chips he allegedly introduced.
- All entrants who played on Wednesday, January 15th in Day One-C beginning at 7 pm in the Event Center and busted out that day will not receive a refund, as those entrants could not have come into contact with Lusardi or any of the counterfeit chips he allegedly introduced. All entrants who played in Day Two, Thursday, January 16th beginning at noon will receive a refund of $560.
- Entrants who re-entered any Day One events (A, B, or C) after busting out may also be eligible for a refund of $560 per entry, depending on the above criteria. Certain individuals who re-entered on multiple occasions may be eligible for refunds for more than one entry. The final 27 players on Day Three will receive an equal share of the remaining funds, or $19,323, as ordered by Division. A Borgata representative will contact each of the 27 finalists to discuss processing this payment.
- In accordance with the Division’s order, the 423 individuals who received awards from the prize pool prior to the tournament being terminated will not receive any further payments. All entrants in this group who have not yet been paid, will be paid.
If you have any questions or wish to confirm eligibility to receive these payments, please call 609.317.1000 and ask for the Winter Poker Open Hotline to speak to a Borgata representative knowledgeable about this matter.
There is no requirement to call as all eligible entrants who are entitled to receive a refund will receive a check for $560 within 10 working days.