The Birth of Casino Chips and Tokens
Casino chips have become a part of some people’s collection over the years. Such a hobby has become so popular that some tokens are even worth about 50 thousand American Dollars on eBay. But when did the use of chips or tokens become necessary in various casinos around the world? How did the idea originate?
Well, during the year 1964, in the United States, silver started to obtain a higher purchase price which then slowly contributed to the halt in the circulation of dollar coins which were made of silver. Many casinos at the time started to try to devise ways to solve the problem by looking for substitutes for the silver coins which were mostly used in slot machines across America. Soon enough, the Gaming Control Board located in Nevada made further consultations with the United States Treasury Office. A ruling was then made that enabled the casinos to begin to use their own substitute tokens or chips in order to operate the slot machines in their venues. In a number of places around America, some casinos are not allowed to make use of any form of currency inside their slot machines, which started the need and demand for the use of tokens as a replacement for lower forms of currency.
The privately-owned corporation located in Pennsylvania called The Franklin Mint, was at the time, and still is, one of the biggest minters of substitute tokens for slot machines. Various token designs were developed by them which included some medals based on a certain theme. The shipments of chips and tokens were on a monthly basis as the company sold them based on plan subscriptions. A number of art themes and American history themes designed on the tokens were not only popular, but also became predominant. Many of such designs usually came in limited number of supplies, therefore giving way to some special limited editions.
In many casinos today, chips and tokens are slowly being phased-out in their slot machines, substituting them with slot machines that take banknotes instead. However, there are still many casinos that would still make use of the tokens, going so far as to embed each chip with Radio Frequency Identification tags in order for casinos to be more effective in keeping in track of such chips, making it difficult for conmen to produce fake versions.
The casino chip’s popularity started growing, and along with that fact, certain collector’s clubs and organizations have opened, as chips and tokens of various colors and designs have continued to emerge.