Exploring what’s available and how best to collect can be confusing, so the CCA (Casino Collectibles Association) has created this page to help gather advice for new collectors in one place.

More details about some of the subjects can be found in the FAQ section of the CCA website.

Quick History

Like any other collectibles hobby, collecting casino and gambling items has been around for over a hundred years. Formal casinos were established in Europe in the 1800s. While unlicensed casinos existed in the US back then too, the formal gaming industry really took off with legalization of gambling in Nevada in 1931.

Collecting casino items probably started with the first person who decided to take home a casino chip rather than cash it in. That’s actually how many collectors first get into the hobby: by taking home a souvenir.

Isolated collectors were buying and trading chips in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early 1980s some dealers popped up to serve the community by selling recent and older chips and tokens. In 1988 Archie Black in Atlantic City surveyed the people subscribing to his newsletter and found that many people wanted to form a club to help exchange information, history & buy and sell chips. The club he formed was the Casino Chips and Gaming Token Collectors Club (CCGTCC); the club has since been renamed the CCA (Casino Collectibles Associate) to reflect the broader scope of items people collect.

What is there to collect?

The vast majority of collectors start by taking home a chip from a favorite casino, then decide to do it for every casino they go to. Anything related to gaming or with a casino logo can be collected including chips, tokens, silver strikes, playing cards, dice, matches, ashtrays, swizzle sticks, coin cups, hotel soap, slot glass, keychains, drink tokens, shot glasses, napkins, menus, door handles, table felts, etc.

What should I collect?

Like any hobby it's really up to you to decide what to collect. Budget, time and interest really dictate what you get into. Usually people start with a personal connection to either an area or a casino and expand from there. Sometimes they inherit a collection and start learning about the history behind what they have.

Some watch-outs

When you first start collecting it can be overwhelming. There are tens of thousands of items that could be collected, so probably the best advice ever given was “focus your collecting”. For example if you decide you want to collect chips, you should figure out your interest, understand what is available, understand costs and set a goal for yourself. By setting that goal and having a defined scope you will enjoy the hobby and watching your collection grow. For example if you want to collect Las Vegas chips, you should decide which casinos (there are hundreds), which denomination ($.25 up to $10,000), which type (regular issue house chips, commemoratives, limited edition & no cash value) to collect. If you say ‘anything from Las Vegas’ progress in your collection may be slow and you may grow frustrated (and spend a lot of money doing it).

You should also set a budget for yourself. Remember this is a fun hobby, not a life necessity. There are a lot of ways to enjoy the hobby without spending more than you can afford.

Another watch out is the risk of looking at this as an “investment”. You will hear all sorts of stories of people finding chips for low cost and selling them at an incredible price. Or buying chips, holding on for a while and selling for way more.

While that does sometimes happen, it shouldn’t be counted on. The stories are endless of people buying chips they felt were an investment and then having to sell at a loss. Like any other item, value is driven by supply and demand. If more people want it, the value will go up. If less people want it or more of something becomes available, the value will drop. There are a lot of situations where people bought chips at a high price, only for many more of them to be found and released into the hobby. Those chip prices dropped and those chips could only be sold at a loss.


The CCA encourages all collectors to be as educated as possible about what they are collecting. Our mission statement is “We are a 501(c)(3) educational organization with the mission of preserving gaming history.”


We have a large variety of public education available. Our main Education page has links to our club magazine, our YouTube channel, our FAQs, etc. Signing up for our Facebook feed keeps you informed about new issues and club events. Educational displays are shown during the annual CCA Show in June, along with speakers and seminars on gaming and collecting subjects (many of which are archived on our YouTube channel).


There are several publications available to help educate collectors. Some are updated more frequently than others, and some have not been updated in a long time. Take this into account when evaluating your items. CCA members receive a quarterly magazine called "Casino Collectible News". Back issues of magazine are available for viewing. CCA members can also borrow publications from the club Library.


The most popular education platform is the internet. It allows instant updates with changing situations and the latest news. Here are some platforms that are popular:

Where to get collectibles

There are 2 main ways of getting collectibles: from the casinos themselves and on the secondary market.

In casinos themselves regular and limited-edition chips are available from the cage or from tables. This is usually the cheapest way of obtaining chips. Strategies on where/how they can be bought can be found in the CCA FAQs.

Used dice and playing cards can often be obtained from the casino gift shops. Ask at the cashier cage or dealers where their casino sells them.

The secondary market is the way most casino collectives are obtained. There are many different channels:

  • eBay - by far the biggest quantity and widest variety of collectibles can be found on eBay. Prices vary from bargains to outlandish.
  • Sales sites - these are private websites that sell chips to the public. Several are listed in our Convention Program.
  • Collectibles shows - the club runs an annual Casino Collectibles show each June in Las Vegas. This is the single biggest show in the world. Local clubs and dealers also run shows, postings about them can be found in the Casino Collectibles Association forum.
  • Private sales - people do private sales through the ChipBoard, Facebook groups and directly with other collectors they know.
  • Auctions - rarer items are often sold in private auctions. The CCA has an auction at each annual Casino Collectibles show and there are other privately run ones.

A word on value/price

Many collectors get hung up on the value (or price) of their collectibles. At its most basic the value for any item is what someone is willing to pay for a particular item, in a particular condition at a certain point in time.

The biggest impact on value is supply & demand. If everything else stays the same and the supply increases, the price will drop. If everything else stays the same and the demand increases, the price will rise (and if demand falls, the price will fall).

Determining the value of any item is tricky business. Many people look to eBay to see what items are selling for (it is important to only search on ‘sold’ listings, those are items actually purchased, not just listed).

As of 2024 there is only one regularly updated price guide, and it only covers Nevada chips (The Chip Rack). The guide is paper-only and it is updated every few years. That is probably the best source for less frequently sold Nevada items.

People often see items sold for a particular amount and think that is the value. What is not known are the circumstances of the sale: was the seller just trying to get rid of the item at any price to raise cash? Was the buyer missing only this item to complete a collection and therefore was willing to pay any price, even above its current value? Look for patterns and the big picture and ignore outliers (high and low) when trying to understand the value of an item.

Collection Tracking

Once you get more than a few items your next challenge is to keep track of your collection. You may also want to maintain a list of items you are looking to get and perhaps extra items you are willing to sell or trade.

The easiest and cheapest method is an electronic spreadsheet like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. These both let you customize how you track and report on your collection.

CCA Members also get free access to a ChipGuide feature called MyCollection. This lets you easily select items from the ChipGuide and put them into your MyCollection list in addition to your TradeList and WantedList.

Collector’s Assistant is commercial software that allows you to inventory your collection, trade and want list with extensive data entry capabilities.

Join the CCA

By joining the club you help us support our educational mission and get valuable information through our 4x per year magazine. You also get expanded features in the club’s ChipGuide, connections with other members who abide by the clubs Code of Ethics, access to members-only categories in the club's message boards (along with the ability to post) and more.