Four gaming history seminars offered free at casino collectibles show

The Casino Collectibles Association (CCA) is dedicated to the growing hobby of collecting casino memorabilia and the preservation of gaming history.

Every year at its Casino Chips & Collectibles Show, the CCA hosts four free educational seminars related to gaming history at no charge to the public.

This year’s seminars, which are listed below, will be held at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Attendees are asked to arrive before each presentation’s scheduled start time. The audience will also be invited to ask questions after each speaker’s seminar.

‘Bahamian Rhapsody’ – The history of casinos in the Bahamas

Charles Kaplan is the current Chairman of the Museum of Gaming History. He is also the curator of the ChipGuide, the most comprehensive reference guide available for casino chip collectors, featuring a free online image database of over 285,000 gaming chips and memorabilia from worldwide casinos. Kaplan’s presentation will cover the time period after the mob was kicked out of Cuba by Castro’s revolution, when they sought other venues to ply their trade.  The nearby Bahamas was one of their first targets. Gambling was illegal in the Bahamas until the Duke of Windsor, then the Governor of the Bahamas, issued an exemption for a seasonal casino at a private club on Cat Cay Island in 1939. The story is complicated and complex involving corrupt government officials, swindlers, the mob, a future President of the United States, a television celebrity and several billionaires. Seminar: Thursday, June 16 at 8 a.m.

The Casino Chips & Collectibles Show is open to the public on June 17 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ($10 admission), on June 18 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($5 admission) and on June 19 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (free admission).

‘sudden’ new finds  

Oscar Lappalainen has been immersed in the casino collectibles world and valuating chips and tokens on a daily basis for years through his work at Spinettis Gaming Supplies and through the tutelage of CCA Life Member Mike Spinetti.  His collecting hobby has expanded to include making casino history videos available on YouTube.  Lappalainen will talk about the barrage of large quantities of “rare” chips that surfaced last year, and the effect this has had on the valuations of casino chips in the marketplace. Seminar: Thursday, June 16 at 3 p.m.

Collecting & Researching Silver Tokens

Dennis Berry, a coin collector since he was 12, got the silver token collection bug in 1994 when he discovered them at the Boomtown Casino in Verdi, Nevada. He is a charter member of the Silver Strike Club and the author of World Denominational Casino Tokens Silver and Gold. His presentation will cover his experiences over a quarter century of collecting, researching and evaluating casino silver tokens.  Seminar: Friday, June 17 at 8 a.m.

Hot Oklahoma Nights

Paul Schaffer, a former Guinness World Record holder of the Largest Chip and Token Collection and CCA Life member has a passion for researching and collecting Oklahoma casino chips and tokens. His presentation will cover Oklahoma gaming from the beginning through the present day, including how Native American cultures influence chip design. Through his collection he will share stories from his many travels to the Sooner State, highlighting his favorite and rarest Oklahoma chips. Seminar: Friday, June 17 at 3 p.m.

Public invited to free seminars

The free seminars run concurrently with the Casino Collectibles Association’s 29th annual show, which runs June 16-18, 2022. Featuring museum-like exhibits and over 50 dealers of casino memorabilia from all over the world, the public is invited to join in the fun of examining, buying, selling, trading or even evaluating casino collectibles and mementos. These include gaming chips, tokens, dice, slot cards, playing cards, matchbooks, menus, dinnerware, swizzle sticks, postcards – just about anything with a casino name or logo on it. There is a slight admission charge for the show floor on Thursday and Friday. Show admission is free on Saturday.

The Casino Chips & Collectibles Show is open to the public on June 17 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ($10 admission), on June 18 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ($5 admission) and on June 19 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (free admission). It will take place in Exhibit Hall C at the South Point Hotel Casino on 9777 Las Vegas Blvd. S. in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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