Vintage Casino Collectibles: A Look into Gambling Memorabilia

min read
An old, dusty roulette table with a ball
BetMGM Aug 02, 2023, 4:10 AM

Step into a world where nostalgia and excitement intertwine as you discover the captivating realm of vintage casino collectibles. From the glittering halls of grand casinos to the secretive backrooms of underground gambling dens, these artifacts tell the story of a bygone era when fortunes were won and lost amid the clinking of chips and shuffling of cards as a great variety of games were played. 

Find out about the history and significance of vintage casino collectibles before the advent of the online casino, such as chips, playing cards and slot machines. There’s a huge network of collectors, enthusiasts and dealers in casino memorabilia. Discover what they are looking for and where to find these collectibles. Plus, what are these items worth? Read on to find out.

The History and Significance of Vintage Casino Collectibles

Casino memorabilia represent a way to remember the glamor, intrigue and vibrant atmosphere of the gambling world. These artifacts bear witness to the evolution of casinos, from the opulent establishments of the early 20th century to the smoky parlors of the Prohibition era. 

Each antique slot machine or old-style craps table adds richness and understanding to both the history of slots and craps as well as other iconic games. It’s fascinating to view current casino games through the lens of casino collectibles as each item tells the story of a bygone era. These collectibles not only showcase the craftsmanship and design of their time but also serve as tangible connections to the people and places that once defined casino culture. 

So what kinds of vintage casino items are in high demand from collectors? 

High-Demand Casino Collectibles

Vintage casino collectibles encompass a wide array of captivating items, but there are certain pieces that hold a special allure for collectors. Among the most sought-after items are antique casino chips, prized for their unique designs, historical significance and rarity. These chips bear the imprints of famous casinos and evoke a sense of nostalgia for a golden age of gambling. 

If you’re keen to start casino chip collecting, you need to get your hands on the Official Casino Chip Price Guide. In it, you will find over 2,000 illustrated chips – many never published before – including updated valuations, variations and recently released casino chips from top collections. Chip Guide is another excellent resource for those wanting to step into this fast-paced and exciting hobby. Casino chips range from common early 20th-century clay chips to more contemporary, plastic-molded “money chips.”

The price of chips is generally determined by these five factors: rarity, location (the most popular location is Las Vegas, Nevada,) aesthetic appeal (a chip with an attractive picture inlay is more desirable than a simple stamp,) mold and condition. 

Besides chips, vintage playing cards are in high demand, especially those featuring intricate artwork and elegant designs. Collectors are particularly drawn to decks used in renowned casinos or those associated with famous gamblers of the past. 

Coveted casino collectibles would definitely include autographed items from well-known players. Think of some big-name poker players, like Doyle Brunson or Phil Ivey, and now imagine having a signed photo of them (or any other autographed item.) Because this is such a rare item, there is no standard price – it could cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to thousands. Here’s a great list of poker memorabilia every poker fan should try to own. 

Where To Find Casino Memorabilia

Whether you’re looking for that high-value antique slot machine or just some casino-inspired decor for your home, there are plenty of places worth looking in. Here are some useful tips:

Online Resources

This is an excellent and easy option for seeing what’s out there. Try eBay or Craigslist to start your search. You never know what you might come across.

Visit Casino Destinations

This provides an excellent opportunity to find casino collectibles at souvenir shops or dealerships. Las Vegas is, of course, a famous destination and one well worth visiting.

Local Gaming Exhibitions and Antique Fairs

It’s great to view actual pieces in real life rather than online. Some gaming exhibitions and antique events can be dedicated entirely to casino memorabilia. They are certainly worth checking out.

Thrift Shops

Don’t overlook local thrift or charity shops. You never know when a vintage casino piece might turn up. 

Notable Sales

Once the collector’s bug has bitten, you’ll probably find the topic of gambling memorabilia quite fascinating, and for good reason. Here are some interesting statistics about significant sales: 

  • The Dunes Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was demolished in 1993, but some of its playing cards are still around. In 2018, a set of two decks sold for $2,500.
  • An antique slot machine, the Watling “Puck” 5-cent slot machine, once owned by Eddie Bhons, a sparring partner of famous boxer Jack Dempsey, is expected to fetch between $30,000 and $50,000 – or so hopes the auctioneer.
  • The Venus double slot machine, which allowed a casino to run two slot machines with one license, sold for $420,000 in 2017.

Enjoy Online Casino Games at BetMGM

Immerse yourself in BetMGM’s wide offering of online casino games, live dealer table games and variety games. This is a great way to expand your network of gambling enthusiasts and perhaps find other vintage casino collectibles through them. Register today with BetMGM to unlock a world of fun and new opportunities. Who knows what treasures are out there waiting for you?

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.