LAS VEGAS – Chip and token collectors have been around as long as casinos have, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that collectors began talking with each other on a regular basis and dealers began to concentrate on casino material. Before the 1980s, chips and tokens could be found outside of casinos only as oddities: a few chips or tokens mixed in with a coin dealer’s stock, or a few chips at an antiques shop or garage sale.
Two early chip dealers published short-lived newsletters, and a contributor to one of them was Archie Black, who lived not far from the relatively new casino gaming jurisdiction of Atlantic City, N.J. When the second of the two dealer newsletters ceased publication, Black, a chip collector with a long history of coin collecting and organizing coin clubs, decided organize a chip and token collectors club.
The first issue of the “Atlantic City Chip & Token Newsletter” appeared in January 1988. The five-page newsletter was Black’s creation and feaured news and history of the relatively new (10 years old) Atlantic City casino industry. The publication would eventually become the 100-plus-page “Casino Chip & Token News,” the quarterly magazine of the Casino Chip & Gaming Token Collectors Club (CC>CC).
The initial members of the CC>CC numbered about 20, but the charter membership was extended to the first 100 members. That goal was passed immediately after the club’s first annual meeting at the American Numismatic Association convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in July 1988.
The hobby expanded exponentially into every aspect of gaming in America and across the world. No item too small or too large that had an identifiable logo or casino name attached to it went uncollected.
Collectable items included poker chips, casino chips, antique gaming chips, dice, match books, ashtrays, postcards, napkins, coasters, menus, plaques, silver strikes – anything with a casino’s logo. The joke is that there is nothing out of bounds and people do in fact collect things that the average person would simply say, “You are kidding!” Table layouts for roulette, blackjack and craps, actual signs from the casinos, the glass fronts to slot machines, and, of course, the slot machines themselves.
The first (organizing) convention took place at the ANA convention in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 23, 1988. The first five conventions took place right at the American Numismatic Association meetings. The true inaugural CC>CC convention took place in Las Vegas, in May of 1993.
The clock is now ticking down to the 19th annual convention in Las Vegas at the Southpoint Hotel, Casino & Spa, June 22-25, 2011 with the showroom floor open to the public by paid admission starting June 23.
Most of the convention proceedings are open to attendees with paid admission, including four educational seminars on aspects of the casino collectable hobby; the exceptions are the Blackjack and Poker tournaments, the banquet and the business meeting. Casino chip expert Doug Saito will lead a seminar on the history of the casino chip hobby. Saito’s knowledge of the history of casino chips is second to none. Having traveled the highways and the byways of Nevada and California in search of the casino owners and their chips has led Saito to find many a story.
There is still time join the Casino Chip & Gaming Token Collectables Club, Inc. and have access to it all. For details, write President Jim Steffner, 9321 Mt. Bret Ave, #103, Las Vegas, NV 89129, visit or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Casino chip collecting club wraps successful 18th annual convention
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