Changes in the chip making world

dennis63

Flush
Site Vendor
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
1,096
Reaction score
2,175
Location
Wilmington, DE
If you haven't been following this on another site, I thought I'd post to let everyone know about recent changes among the few remaining producers of clay casino chips.

First, on Friday, June 7, Gaming Partners International (GPI) announced that it has bought the assets of Blue Chip Company (BCC). BCC was a producer of casino and custom clay chips, though their custom orders had a minimum of 4,000 chips and they've been trying to get out of the home market. It is likely GPI bought the assets of the company (machines / formula) in order to eliminate the competition and to make clay chips for their casino (only) clients.

Second, ASM has sent out an announcement that the company is now being run by Red Ott. Michael Dambauch has apparently sold his interest in the company, or is in the process of doing so.

I can confirm this as accurate. I spoke with Michael by phone on May 13, 2013. He advised me that this was in the works. He may remain involved with the company in some capacity as a consultant or contractor or an employee as needed. (He still loves the company.) I'm not sure of his role, if any, at this moment.

Over two days, I was able to speak with both Michael and Red. Both were very cordial and said they hoped to meet me when I visit Las Vegas later this year. ASM's plant is up and running -- I think they said they're doing about 1,000 new chips per day. They have some employees from the original operation in Portland, Maine, and are working on clearing a giant backlog of orders that came in during their move from Portland to Las Vegas. (December 2012 - January, 2013.)

I spoke with both men separately, but both discussed the cost of making custom clay chips. Prices for raw materials are way up. They spoke about one of the ingredients in the chips and said it had risen in price from $7 per pound to $17 per pound due to weather in South America. The cost of a "slug," or raw, unpressed chip, is now multiple times higher than they estimated when they took over the company. This actually creates a "floor" in the price of a chip -- a base cost, where the cost of a chip can't go any lower, no matter how many you buy. This affects ASM, but it also affects companies like GPI and others.

Red said he believed ASM's current prices were where they should be for the company to be able to make a profit and continue doing business. (Like the rest of us, he wishes prices were lower.) He can't predict what prices will do in the future. He also noted the massive amount of labor that goes in to making the chips.

Both men talked to me about GPI, and how they pay very little for labor, as their factory is in Mexico. We also discussed how they get something of a "pass" when it comes to chip prices, because they don't sell in the home market. The men seemed to know what GPI charges its casino customers, and said their per-chip price would be at or near what ASM is charging right now, if GPI sold chips to the public.

All in all, my conversation with both men suggested we can expect ASM to be around for the future.

I wish Michael great success in whatever he decides to do, and wish continued success to Red, Sallie, and all at ASM in Las Vegas.

All the discussions were centered around my own order for 10,000 Key West casino chips -- an order big enough that it should keep my Key West chip prices stable for some time to come. This also adds to an order of 1,200 Key West roulette chips, on the special "roulette mold."

Photos will be posted when chips arrive.
 
Last edited:

Tommy

Royal Flush
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
13,499
Reaction score
17,371
Location
USA
Wow...thanks for the heads up and very informative post.
 

RichMahogany

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Messages
4,217
Reaction score
5,381
Location
Sucka Free City
No wonder I never received the T-mold blanks and Samurai Palace chips I ordered a month ago.
 
Top Bottom