What’s the story behind the casino chip?
You can’t help but think of Vegas when you hear the chips clattering! The first gambling establishment opened in Venice in the 17th century, and cash was used for nearly 200 years to run the industry. Gold and silver nuggets, gold dust, metal tokens, and ivory chips made of ivory were used as “banks” for wagering purposes during the Gold Rush era of the Western United States.
It became simpler to manufacture ivory chips and gold nuggets as the number of poker players increased, leading to businesses creating their chips and creating a common denominator for all gaming platforms. The uniform style of the poker chip was introduced in the 1880s when gambling establishments began to build their distinct brands. The gaming currency was made entirely of compressed sand and clay and had a circular design.
Various colors have been used in the new design over the years to alleviate confusion caused by using different currencies at the tables. In time, the standard method of the poker chip extended to other table games, including blackjack, craps, and roulette. When casino gambling became legal in Nevada in the 1930s, the state’s casino owners had a new currency to deal with the influx of new customers.
How has the design of casino chips evolved?
In the gambling sector, most poker chips are made of a composite that incorporates clay but, in the end, is a far more durable form of clay. Ceramic poker chips, identical to those used in a home game of poker, are also employed in several Las Vegas casinos. However, what alterations have been made to the style over time? How did casinos come up with the colors and other details of these little tokens that entice players to stake their money on them?
Early casino chips were made of ivory and had a written face value, which was a step in the right way for poker currency. Chips varied widely from area to location in size and material, although bigger was generally preferable. Individuals could nevertheless easily counterfeit the wide range of tokens used as payment over time. In the twentieth century, high-pressure machinery allowed for the production of chips, and a standard chip size was established. The normal casino chip size is 39mm in diameter and weighs between 8.5 grams to 20.5 grams. The only way to tell one casino floor from another when it comes to casino chips is by their branding, as the size of the fragments had already been determined.
Branding at Las Vegas casinos varies widely due to a multitude of factors. Both MGM and Caesars dominate the Las Vegas Strip hotel industry, and this lays a solid foundation for building a brand. The rest of the design is based on various factors, including color preference, logo, quantity, and what the players find appealing. Look at the variety of chips traded on the casino floor as you make your way around the Strip and Downtown.
How often are casino chips changed?
Casino chips are routinely swapped out because of the many people coming to Las Vegas. Typically, casinos only change out their chips every few years for security concerns and to stay up with the ever-changing gaming world.
A “grace period” is usually in place when casinos change their old chips for new ones, during which the withdrawn chips will be honored before they are completely removed from the system. To begin production of the new chips and have them available on the casino floor, the Gaming Control Board must first provide their approval of the design and security features.
When old casino chips were no longer in use, casino owners had no idea what to do with them. It’s possible to find some of them in Lake Mead still today, and some were even used to strengthen the foundations of historic buildings. Chips can only be disposed of by companies approved by the Gaming Control Board. This process is overseen by a gaming regulator who loads the old tokens onto a security-equipped truck and crushes them into dust.