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Casino Chip Collecting

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by FullPay, Oct 29, 2015.

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  1. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

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    Not a serious collector, just like to get a dollar chip (nobody knows what a cheque is anymore) from casinos I have played at, especially before they close. I usually just try to buy one at the cage and tip if they make an effort to get me one in decent shape. Some casinos, recently Tropicana, refuse this and say I have to get them at the table. They will then exchange floor chips for cleaner, less circulated ones.

    My friend is a serious collector and says that there is a reason that the cage may sell one to a collector but doesn't want people to buy them in quantity. Anyone know why? Seems to me that if I wanted to buy fifty black chips from Tropicana before they re-brand that I would just be giving them free money.
     
  2. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    I run into this problem from time to time also FullPay. I've never had a problem at the Trop but I did at Binions and 4Q. I also will tip the cage person a buck or two if they go in the back and get a brand new chip. I have a collection of $1 chips of every casino that has been in operation on the strip and downtown since the early 80s.

    I'm not sure why the casinos would sweat collectors buying low denomination chips. I had a pit boss tell me that the $1 chips actually cost more than $1 to purchase from the company that produce the chips for the casino. I find this highly doubtful. What I suspect is that the casinos want collectors to buy in at the tables with the thinking they will make some wagers along the way.
     
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  3. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Some cages will not sell you chips in bulk because they don't want their inventory to go down. Yes, if they know they are closing or changing out their chips they may sell them right before but not until they know they have adequate inventory.

    I was in vegas prior to the riv closing and picked up about 20 good "new" chips. they just brought up a stock of new chips so they had a lot of inventory available. Unfortunately a day or two later (I went back to check out the place before they closed) on one shift they weren't giving out more than $5 or $10 in $1 chips because their inventory was low.

    I also don't understand why some cages won't let you buy chips from them but it could be up to the clerk, some clerks don't want to go through the trouble of searching for "good" chips. I also collect chips but have gotten some bad looks when I asked if the clerk could search for "good" clean chips.
     
  4. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

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    Thanks for the replies. I also doubt that the chip costs more than its face value to make, only a government would be stupid enough to do that. The inventory thing makes sense: I just picked up a chip at the local riverboat and tipped the cage attendant up front while I was cashing in. She was gone for several minutes and then apologized for the condition of the chip she found. She said it was because they use that chip (dollar) the most. I guess she was telling me that she could not break into fresh stock and had to give me what they had circulating.
     
  5. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    If you guys are interested in chip collecting check out the Chipboard , com a MB that is an offshoot of the CC+GTCC (Casino Chip and GamingToken Collectors Club)
    They have a yearly convention in Las Vegas every June..Past few have been at the Southpoint..The club is always looking for new members as younger people for whatever reason do not collect like thier parents did...Same goes for coins..But fun hobby and you can get lucky speading the word,who knows what has been in someones drawer for 30 years..Worth some $$..

    To this day I am kicking myself for not bringing any chips home from Reno in '79 or so or Las Vegas in '86 or even multiple drives to AC in that time frame..

    And from my understanding the problem with buying chips directly from the cage had something to do with the Las Vegas casino control commission but it appears to have eased up recently...I've had good luck finding rarer Palms chips in the past if you hit the cage when it's not busy and tip a bit..
    But good luck with your collections and happy hunting! James CC+GTCC Member #8142
     
  6. FullBoat

    FullBoat VIP Whale

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    I'm just starting my collection as well. Was able to get a chip from LVC and Riviera before they closed down. Just need to get a toothbrush to clean them. Don't want to just use my fingers in case the middle inlay gets rubbed off.
    I tried to buy one at a couple of places downtown, but they weren't having it. Oh well. Just had to play then. What a shame. ;)

    Need to get over to Monty Carlo in case they do change their name. I have almost all of the downtown ones finally. Need like 3 more I think to make it complete.
     
  7. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

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    Whatever the rule is, enforcement is pretty spotty. About three years ago my friend and I completed a downtown collection in about two hours by going from cage to cage. Six months ago Monte Carlo ponied up but Tropicana made me buy-in at the table. If you tell them up front that it's for a collection it seems to help with the casino control commision rule.
     
  8. BTSyndrome

    BTSyndrome Low-Roller

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    I don't think it cost more than $1 to produce a dollar chip but it might be close now days.
    Years ago I was really into chiptalk.n3t and learned way more about chips then I ever wanted to know. I've forgot most of it by now.:rolleyes2:
    People would buy racks of $1 chips from a casino to use in their home games because they cost about $1 to get your own "real" clay chips made back then. 10+ years ago
    If they ever quit playing with them they would just take em back to the casino and get their $$ back.

    One reason they send you to tables for some chips is because they cost more to make than face value of the chip...
    (they want you to loose to attain it)

    Like the one in the middle of this picture... They refused to sell any chip under $1 so I had to play for it. This chip is from a time when 6/5 was not even invented. hehe
    IMG_1024.jpg

    Most places cheap out now and just use coins instead of chips for anything less than a dollar I think?

    Maybe that's why they switched to 6/5 from 3/2 :thumbsdown: hahaha

    I play Pai Gow mostly, I know they use a lot of coins.
     
  9. BTSyndrome

    BTSyndrome Low-Roller

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    Do you need the Bill's $1 that's in my pic above?
    (pm your add. and I'll send it your way)

    I'm not a collector, just have random chips from my first ever visit to LV
     
  10. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

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    Interesting. A lot of things that make sense everywhere else don't make sense in Vegas, and vice versa.
     
  11. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    I'm going to start this.
     
  12. undathesea

    undathesea Grandissimo

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    I guess I understand collecting dollar chips and I realize that most are doing it for the simple enjoyment of chip collecting. But, I also think some hope that their chips will increase in value over time. As I'm sure they will.

    The last part is the part that I don't get. If everyone is collecting the dollar chips, they're much less likely to increase in value at the same rate as say a five dollar chip or the rare, poker $2.50 pink chip.

    The higher denominations chip, I would think, would bring a better expected return if you ever needed to liquidate the collection.

    I'd be much more inclined to collect those chips rather than the dollar chips if I was collecting. And, I've thought about starting.
     
  13. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    It's all really about Rarity first then Condition then Face Value of the chips..
     
  14. FullBoat

    FullBoat VIP Whale

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    For me, it's more of a record of where I've been. If they happen to be worth something later on, all the better.
     
  15. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    I still have a massive matchbook collection from the 70's and 80's. Several defunct casinos.
     
  16. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    My collection of chips are for my enjoyment and memories of playing in different casinos. I collect chips only if I've played there. I collect a $1 chip if I played but didn't win anything worthwhile. I'll collect a $5 chip if I ended up a couple hundred ahead after playing. I'll collect a $25 chip if I end up a thousand or so ahead.

    So far I have a lot of $1 chips and a handful of $5 chips but only one $25 chip from the Cal.
     
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  17. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

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    My friend told me that if you bought a black chip from every Vegas casino in 1985 that you would now be a millionaire. I forgot to do that.

    As a serious collector he is buying new issues and special event issues all of the time. I am just looking for a personal record or souvenir, so dollar chips just make more sense. However, I always get a five dollar chip whenever I hit a quarter VP royal (six so far). Always hoping to bring back another red chip!
     
  18. FullPay

    FullPay High-Roller

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    Finally got around to buying a display case, lots of options available on Amazon. The displays are also used for military challenge coins. The top two rows are casinos that have closed or re-branded since I visited them, starting with the Dunes in 1993. The third row is for Royals, the bottom is the current line up for downtown.

    IMG_1586.jpg
     
  19. undathesea

    undathesea Grandissimo

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    I realize that. But...

    1. The most common denomination of casino chip is the $1 chip. I think that's it's fair to assume that as the denomination increases, the count per denomination decreases. Therefore, rarity and denomination go hand-in-hand with casino chips.

    2. You can also make the argument that special chips are printed from time to time to celebrate an occasion. Again, those are printed mostly on the lower denominations and less on the higher denominations which simply means rarity and denomination still go hand-in-hand.

    3. The most commonly collected casino chip is the $1 chip making it the least rare to collect. Even the rare $1 chips aren't as rare as another denomination from the same casino.

    I'm sure there are some exceptions. There always are. Misprints, etc.

    But, it's safe to assume that if you're just collecting $1 chips, you're not doing it for the thrill of the collection AND as an investment. Otherwise you'd be collecting another denomination.
     
  20. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I'm a little afraid of the chip logos fading with time so I usually keep them in an airtight container (the old metal ammo cans) because I don't want to expose them to the light of day (and especially sunlight). I had some chips left outside and I did notice that some faded when exposed to sunlight over a period of time. I do go through them every so many years to see if I missed a casino chip from some outlying casino. Too bad I didn't start sooner (only started collecting chips the last 15 years) as I don't have chips for many of the casinos that have closed (like the dunes, etc).
     
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