Is Chip Collecting really Collecting or Gambling?

The Chip Spa

Dan Madrigrano
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An Excerpt from an article:

How Much Are Vintage Chips Worth?​

While reselling casino chips is a long-term investment strategy, it can be a highly profitable one. In 2015, a $25 chip from The Golden Nugget sold for $1,000, which is a 3,900% return on investment. In 2005, a collection of 6,600 casino chips sold at auction for over $1 million. The compilation consisted of chips from casinos that closed between the 1930s and the 1950s. As with most collector’s items, the fewer that were made, the older it is, and its condition all drives up prices. On average, after fifty years, you can expect a return of 10-20 times what you paid for the chip at the casino’s cashier. However, there may never be a market for some old chips, and they will never appreciate. In a sense, investing in chips becoming a collector’s item is also a form of gambling.
 
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A good question!! If you collect are you a collector or a gambler. IMO if you're collecting isn't it your aim to keep what your collecting or are you betting that you can hold on for a bit and resell at a higher value? "flipping". Most I think Play both sides. Collect what you love and hedge or reduce the cost by flipping others. HOW DO YOU PLAY IT?
 
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A good question!! If you collect are you a collector or a gambler. IMO if you're collecting isn't it your aim to keep what your collecting or are you betting that you can hold on for a bit and resell at a higher value? "flipping". Most I think Play both sides. Collect what you love and hedge or reduce the cost by flipping others. HOW DO YOU PLAY IT?
I focus my time and energy on chips that I intend to keep. I’ve not ever purposely focused on chips to flip or resell because I’m not interested in other peoples tastes when it comes to my money.

I enjoy going to meet ups and getting the opportunity to play other collectors sets. There are some amazing sets out there that I can very much appreciate and understand why other collectors would own them.

When it comes to my collection, my tastes are more narrowly focused and sometimes I’m not sure I like something till I actually see it. Chips must “Speak” to me in some fashion for them to become interesting enough for me to want to collect.
I mostly march to my own beat in chipping and life for that matter. I find that the truly cool things in life and chipping are the things that DON’T speak to the masses.
I typically want no part of what everyone’s doing.
 
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I focus my time and energy on chips that I intend to keep. I’ve not ever purposely focused on chips to flip or resell because I’m not interested in other peoples tastes when it comes to my money.

I enjoy going to meet ups and getting the opportunity to play other collectors sets. There are some amazing sets out there that I can very much appreciate and understand why other collectors would own them.

When it comes to my collection, my tastes are more narrowly focused and sometimes I’m not sure I like something till I actually see it. Chips must “Speak” to me in some fashion for them to become interesting enough for me to want to collect.
I mostly march to my own beat in chipping and life for that matter. I find that the truly cool things in life and chipping are the things that DON’T speak to the masses.
I typically want no part of what everyone’s doing.
I agree wholly! Every set I have with a couple exceptions, have meaning to me. The place was part of my life, I won a jackpot there or hung out there, or the history of the place really interested me to the point where you dive deep into its history. To me owning chips from some fictitious place or because of simply the way they look isn't my bag.
 
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A good question!! If you collect are you a collector or a gambler. IMO if you're collecting isn't it your aim to keep what your collecting or are you betting that you can hold on for a bit and resell at a higher value? "flipping". Most I think Play both sides. Collect what you love and hedge or reduce the cost by flipping others. HOW DO YOU PLAY IT?
Fuck flipping. I’ve never bought a chip to hold and extract value later. I buy because I want to use them 100%.
 
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A good question!! If you collect are you a collector or a gambler. IMO if you're collecting isn't it your aim to keep what your collecting or are you betting that you can hold on for a bit and resell at a higher value? "flipping". Most I think Play both sides. Collect what you love and hedge or reduce the cost by flipping others. HOW DO YOU PLAY IT?
I do see myself 100% as a collector. I don't really have any drive to go to the casino and play for myself and I'm not too sure if I ever will. There may be a time that I go to hang out with a few friends or family when in town that I might try to play a bit, but not with a ton of money on the table.

As for my collection, I see myself following in the steps as many of us. We are trying to collect the best of the best in the world, whether that's in quantity or singles, to have a collection that we can look back on when we're older. During the journey meeting amazing friends, making memories and hopefully playing with said chips that we are collecting. The whole reason I collect sets is to hopefully play with them and then having the possibility of having a playable set from " " casino. For example one that I'm currently working on; Desert Sands, El Cortez, Saddle Club, 4807 Club, Johnny's and a few others. Some are taking longer than others and some I was able to get in one go. Along with collecting these sets I want to share the passion with others and let them play with these chips. It might be their only time that they get to play with actual casino chips that were used and that might be a very unique experience for them. They're also conversation pieces and more.

Sure there have been thoughts and I still have them here and there if I see chips posted for a very nice price that in the future I'd hopefully be able to get more for them. I think all of the chips that I've sold so far from my collection I've sold them for the same price that I bought them for. Whether their just chips I didn't have a use for, they didn't fit in my collection or another reason I'd like for someone else to have them and maybe they'd fit in their collection. If it comes down to it that they want to them sell them for a higher price, I don't really care. There's also been plenty of chips I've given away just to share with the community which I love to see.

Here's a short article that I was interviewed for Cigar Aficionado. Just a quick talk about some of the chips we've had at work and a small snippet of how older chips can be worth more than their face value: https://www.cigaraficionado.com/article/vintage-casino-chips

At the end of the day, I ultimately collect what I love. I might pick up chips for a cheap price to then flip to secure funds for another purchase of chips I love and the cycle continues, although I have a hard time selling stuff. I'd like to keep everything, but ultimately can't. :)
 
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