Coronavirus has shut down casinos from Macau to Vegas, but one intrepid entrepreneur is literally cleaning up: Elite Chip Care specializes in sanitizing casino chips.

Call the Cleaner

The owner of a company specializing in cleaning casino chips has seen a massive upturn in business due to the coronavirus outbreak. Clay Dubois’ Elite Chip Care is cleansing thousands of casino chips per day – with more on the way.

Casinos choosing to stay open are redoubling their efforts to sanitize their gaming spaces in the name of public safety. Virus germs can linger on cold surfaces for days, waiting for unwitting victims to touch a door knob or lever. All it takes from there is for the victim to touch their eyes, nose or mouth – something humans do subconsciously.

Casino owners admit that casino chip cleaning is rare, sometimes only happening every 10 or 15 years. It can’t be done on the casino floor for security reasons, and having staff clean chips one at a time would take days if not weeks.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

Enter the cleaner. Clay Dubois is the sole owner and employee of Elite Chip Care, but his primary weapon in the fight against germs is a specialized ultrasonic chip cleaner he patented.

Dubois uses six ultrasonic cleaners which vibrate the dirt and contamination off the chips. Ultrasonic cleaning is nothing new, as opticians around the world use them for cleaning glasses. However, Dubois invented a specialized chip rack in the ultrasonic water bath that fits up to 640 casino chips at a time.

To kill stubborn contamination like coronavirus, Dubois bakes them at 170 degrees in a convection oven.

Meanwhile back at the casino, employees are washing their hands constantly, cleaning public spaces people touch, and generally sanitizing the place. But Dubois wants to be clear that chip cleaning isn’t a magic bullet.

I can sterilize your chips in the ovens today, somebody comes in tomorrow and sneezes on your chips and guess what? You’ve got a viral outbreak,” he said.

While the coronavirus closes many casinos and events are canceled globally, sanitation companies are really cleaning up.


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Thomas McCoy was born in Bethesda, Maryland and studied finance at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington D.C. before heading to New York and a job as a forex trader on Wall Street. Successful enough to launch his own, online forex trading platform, Thomas has long had a keen interest in the places where the worlds of finance and technology meet. As a prolific blogger, Thomas considers himself an expert on cryptocurrencies, casino asset restructuring, and emerging technologies set to change the way people do business.