Dead Chips alive at Rio Suite Hotel & Casino?

Feb 6, 2001 6:29 AM

Dead Chips ALIVE! No one’s talking, but there’s reason to believe the Rio Suite Hotel & Casino has put into play a Dead Chips program.

It may be the first time the program was ever used in a Las Vegas casino, although for a limited time it was implemented at Caesars Tahoe years ago. And, as the story goes, it was quite successful.

What are Dead Chips? Players or their junket agents buy chip warrants for a rebate, typically, 1% to 3%. The warrants are exchanged for Dead Chips. The Dead Chips are played like normal chips. Winning bets are played like normal chips. When the Dead Chips are gone, normal chips left over represent winnings and can be redeemed for cash at the casino cage.

All the perks that are afforded to high rollers apply. However, transactions for Dead Chips must be in cash, not credit. Players are given a VIP identification card that must be presented at time of play. A rebate of 1% of turnover on all non-negotiable chip losses is paid to players.

What games can be played? Normally they are baccarat, mini-baccarat and blackjack. A 1.1% rebate is paid on roulette. All other games must be approved by the house, and the rebate is paid on 0.5% of turnover.

The Dead Chips are popular in Australia and Malaysia. They are popular among high-end Asian, Latin and Middle East players.

It could not be ascertained if the above rules applied at the Rio. Calls for comment were not returned.

Ironically, under different ownership, the Rio had a bevy of high-end players, brought in by player development experts who are no longer at the hotel. High-end play came to a screeching halt under Harrah’s Entertainment ownership. It appears as if the thinking may have changed. Certainly, Dead Chip programs have the most appeal to high-end players.

Stay tuned.