Most Valuable Las Vegas Casino Chips

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When Las Vegas casinos close, their chips lose their cash value. But their collectible value often increases. That’s why plain old $25 chips from the Tropicana are selling for $50 on eBay right now.

This uncirculated box of 100 $1 casino chips from the defunct Sands Hotel fetched $1,338 on eBay on March 10, after 15 bids. (Image: eBay)

In the case of one very rare chip, the difference between its monetary and collectible values is 15,000 fold.

Like with baseball cards and comic books, hundreds of casino chip collectors across the world gather for conventions and join clubs in pursuit of their hobby.

Here are their three holy grails.

This $5 Golden Goose chip is believed to be the only one of its kind in existence. (Image: Coin Week)

1. Golden Goose

$5 Chip

Price: $75,000

The Golden Goose was opened by Herb Pastor on the site of the shuttered Mecca Slots casino at 20 Fremont St. in 1975.

It was was a slots-only joint, except for a single blackjack table. That table operated only from March 1976 through August 1977.

When the table went away, so did all its chips — except for this one, which was sold by an anonymous seller to an anonymous buyer at the 2014 Casino Chip & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club (CCGTCC) convention.

Regarded as one of a kind, it set the record for a casino chip price that still stands today. (In the mid-1990s, the same chip sold for $3,000 at auction.)

The Golden Goose operated for five years before Pastor combined it with the Glitter Gulch Casino into a strip joint called the Girls of Glitter Gulch.

This Lucky Casino chip brought someone luck 50 years after the casino closed. (Image: Coin World)

2. Lucky Casino

$5 chip

Price: $52,500

That same year, at the same convention (CCGTCC), this $5 chip trailed close behind the Golden Goose sale. It is one of only two of its kind known to have survived.

The Lucky Casino opened in 1963 on the site of the former Lucky Strike Casino (and, before that, the Frontier Club) at 117 Fremont St. It operated for only four years before being purchased and demolished by the Golden Nugget as part of a block-long 1968 expansion.

This rare chip was collected and saved in 1960 by someone who liked its design. (Image: pokerfraudalert.com)

3. Showboat Casino

$1 chip

Sold for: $28,998.88

In 2008, Sandy Marbs of Maryland Heights, Mo., a widow living on Social Security, discovered eBay as a way to earn a few extra dollars. One of the knickknacks she found around the house was this chip from the Showboat Casino, which operated from 1954 to 2001.

Sandy Marbs passed away in 2019. (Image: Legacy.com)

She kept it in her jewelry box, because the boat on it reminded her of Missouri, for 47 years. It was only the third known surviving $1 chip from the casino.

Marbs started the auction off at $2.25 and was immediately inundated with messages asking to end the auction in exchange for a cash offer. The offers ranged from $1,000-$5,000.

Luckily for Marbs, one message came from a CCGTCC member, who advised her to just let the auction run its course, and helped improve her odds by posting better photos of it

It sold to a collector named Glen Grush, and has yet to reappear on the market.

Chip Claims That May Not Stack Up

It should be noted that in 2008, the New York Times reported that a Long Island lawyer named Eric Rosenblum sold a $100 Desert Inn chip from the 1980s at the CCGTCC convention for $20,000.

That report could not be verified by Casino.org. Nor could a 2022 claim made by casino chip collector Steven Cutler, to the Las Vegas Sun, that he owns a 1950s-era chip from the old California Club worth $30,000.

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