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Man Sets Guinness World Record For Collectible Casino Chips

Missouri Collector Has 2,250 Chips And Counting


Paul Schaffer credit: Guinness on Twitter/XQuite a few poker fans enjoy amassing chips, and not just for bullying opponents at the table. Rare casino chips can be highly sought after, and one aficionado has even amassed such a large collection that it has been recognized by Guinness Records.

Paul Schaffer, of Kansas City, Missouri, is now known for having the largest number of collectible casino chips, with 2,250 after getting into the hobby 20 years ago. At a young age, he figured out that snagging a chip could be a low-cost hobby since he enjoyed visiting casinos.

“Since I grew up in Minnesota where the legal age to gamble was 18, it was something we did for entertainment,” he told Guinness. “When my wife took me to Vegas for the first time for my 30th birthday, I saw all these cool chips on the tables. Instead of buying some trinkets that I would throw away, I would keep a chip from every casino we visited.”

Chips From Casinos Of The Past

Collecting casino chips has gained quite a following in recent years. A casino collectors and memorabilia show is even held each summer in Las Vegas.

Schaffer’s first chip came as a gift from his mother after she visited the Silver Slipper in Las Vegas. That property was open from 1950 to 1988 before facing the wrecking ball to make way for the Frontier. The casino was known for the large silver slipper that rotated above the building to beckon gamblers. The property gained a bit of infamy in 1964 after becoming the first casino to be shut down for cheating after using “flat dice” and other rigged games.

Along with that collectible, another favorite for Schaffer is a 1964 $1 Christy & Jones purple chip from the Thunderbird Casino in Las Vegas.

“Nothing says old Vegas like the Thunderbird, and purple along with the red inserts is something you don’t see these days,” he said.

Schaffer enjoys talking with casino staff about chips and collecting. The thrill of the chip hunt remains and many of these collectibles of now-forgotten casinos remain on his target list. But he’s always looking for chips at newer properties as well.

“I just got back from Las Vegas because since the last time I was there several new $1 chips were released,” he said. “So, I drove around to all the casinos to get them for my collection.”

Not all chips of older casinos are rare. New Jersey gaming regulators recently closed an account of the former Playboy Casino in Atlantic City after it was determined that many more chips were in existence than was originally reported when the casino closed down in the 1980s.

The belief that excess chips still remained was affirmed in 2008 when a construction worker in Hernando, Mississippi hit a jackpot of the chips in a concrete slab while digging as part of a community infrastructure project. The company in charge of destroying the chips stated that they did not know how they instead ended up buried more than 1,000 miles away from the casino.