Casino Chips are form of currency designed to improve all round security. Mostly, they are tied to the casino where they were obtained.

Casino Chips

Casino ChipsCasino chips came about during the 1880’s. Prior to that, real money was used mostly but some casinos did introduce crude currency systems. Pieces of ivory wood, or bone were used to simulate money. The first chips were made out of clay and even today a clay composite is widely used. Some casino chips are ceramic to give them an appealing edge.

Having chips as a currency avoids a lot of security problems. They are intended for use in the casino where the level of security is usually very high. When entering the casino gamblers can purchase chips from the cage to suit their type of gaming. Unlike normal currency there are some very high value chips. So, the idea is that you cash your casino chips in when leaving the casino.

Unlike money, the chips are all the same size, different colours are used for each denomination. Usually the value and the name of the casino are stamped on them. One advantage with using the chips is that they are lighter than coins. The tokens which are used for slot machines are as heavy as coins but not the casino chip.


The likely hood of theft is low because they are held within the casino. However there have been many attempts at forgery. If you look at the photo, the only thing which sets the chips apart is their colour and value. Bearing in mid the chips are made from light and soft materials, they are easier to reproduce than a metal coin.

Most forgery attempts have involved modifying a existing casino chip but some have involved complete forgery. Modern technology has enabled electronic devices to be installed inside the chip so forgery is almost impossible.

Taking security a step further some slot casinos are now using prepaid cards instead of tokens.

The most notable theft involving chips was carried out in 2011. Anthony Carleo, without accomplices robbed the Bellagio Casino on Las Vegas of 1.5 million dollars in casino chips. It was an armed robbery without a single shot being fired. He was arrested months later after trying to sell 25 thousand dollar chips to an undercover police office. Prior to that he had lost a lot of the chips while gambling in the Bellagio Casino.

Read more about casino scams.

Other Gambling Scams which involved criminal activity

The Roselli Brothers who conned the banks and casinos out of 37 million dollars during the 1990’s.

Louis Colavecchio who became an expert forger of casino tokens. He went to prison for seven years and then tried again.

Bill Brennan a casino employee who apparently walked out of a casino at the end of his shift with half a million dollars in casino chips and cash.

Dennis Nikrasch a slot machine cheat who reportedly won more than 15 million dollars over time.

Monique Laurent a Roulette cheat who worked with her brother to electronically control the outcome of the spin.

Ida Summers a casino worker who learned to re-arrange the cards so that the punters won.

Richard Marcus who won hundreds of thousands of dollars by manipulating casino chips.

Ronald Dale Harris and Reid NcNeil who learned to cheat the the gaming machine software.

Tommy Carmichael who manipulated slot machines to win. He is now a reformed character an works as a slot machine security consultant.

A Blackjack card counting scam which enabled a group of students to win millions of dollars from US casinos.

A card cheating mobile phone which can scan and read a deck of cards, discovered by Google.

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