April 22, 2024 2 min read


Las Vegas’ High-Stakes Scene Shaken by Counterfeit Chip Scandal

A man was arrested by local law enforcement in Las Vegas after his involvement in a disturbance at a motel on April 10, upon discovery of outstanding warrants related to the counterfeit chips

Las Vegas, known for its high-stakes gambling scene, has been hit by a counterfeit chips scandal, leading to the arrest of a 54-year-old man on multiple charges, including burglary and possession of illegal instruments.

54-Year-Old Man Caught in Counterfeit Chip Scandal at Las Vegas Casinos

Gratis Woolen, Jr., found himself in hot water after allegedly attempting to pass off fake gaming chips at various casinos in the city, reported 8NewsNow. The scheme was uncovered when vigilant employees at Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and The Cosmopolitan reported suspicious activity to the Nevada Gaming Control Board back in January 2023.

According to documents obtained by investigators, Woolen was caught in the act at the Cosmopolitan, where he exchanged several counterfeit $100 chips for cash at the cashier cage. The fraudulent nature of the chips was quickly discovered upon inspection. 

One investigator described how some of the chips had “Golden Gate” stickers that were peeling off, revealing a solid black face underneath. Legitimate chips, the investigator noted, are typically made of solid ceramic without external decorations.

Further examination revealed discrepancies in the inserts of the counterfeit chips, including an abnormal bump underneath, indicating their fraudulent nature. This was not Woolen’s first brush with such activities, as investigators found records of similar incidents dating back to 2014 and 2018.

Motel Disturbance Leads to Woolen Jr.’s Arrest in Las Vegas

The scheme came to a halt when Woolen was involved in a disturbance at a Las Vegas motel on April 10, catching the attention of local law enforcement. Upon discovering outstanding warrants for his arrest related to the counterfeit chips, Woolen was taken into custody.

During his court appearance, Woolen was granted release on $1,000 bail under the condition of electronic monitoring. Judge Melissa Stratton scheduled a preliminary hearing for April 25 to address the charges against him.

While Woolen faces the legal repercussions of his actions, questions remain about the origin of the counterfeit chips. Investigators have not disclosed whether Woolen manufactured the chips himself or obtained them from another source.

The identity of the woman involved in the scam alongside Woolen remains undisclosed, with reports indicating that she has yet to face charges.

As Las Vegas continues to uphold its reputation as the gambling capital of the world, this incident serves as a reminder of the constant vigilance required to combat fraudulent activities within the city’s bustling casino industry.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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