Okku's Historical Casino Videos & Random Fun Stuff

Okku

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I'm finally back in Vegas! Finland was super fun, being able to enjoy vacation for 4 weeks and getting my mind off things. Although, it's time to get back to reality. Over the 4 weeks that I was there I did buy some chips that I really wanted and somethings that I thought were pretty awesome, so it was nice to come back to some goodies. Of course some of them had to be TRKs and then I got some surprise goodies, plus some illegal casino chips! The first time I've ever had illegal casino chips and I believe that these are from the 50s from a place called the Terrace Club that was in E. St. Louis, Illinois. Really awesome stuff and I'm very excited about them. This was a mini mail haul video unboxing them and showing them to you guys. I hope you enjoy and if you have a favorite or know anything more about them, let me know!! Super excited to get back to chips, school, work and reality!

Enjoy:

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Okku

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Today we talk about how a pretty awesome set of World Trade Center Casino chips just sold here on PokerChipForum. These chips were never actually used in a casino because the place never opened as it failed to acquire a gaming license. This 800 chip set was once for sale a few months ago, but it didn't sell and it did now. Congrats to the new owner I'm sure they will enjoy it and get to play with some awesome chips. These are bud jones chips so they are different than Paulsons and TRKs but they are still pretty cool. The colors of the $1s are my favorite and then the $25 is probably right behind it, with the 25 cent chips because custom made.

Enjoy:
 

Okku

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Today we talk about the history of the Frontier casino in Las Vegas. It all started in 1942, with the Last Frontier hotel which was the 2nd hotel/casino located on the Las Vegas Strip. Opened by R.E. Griffith and his nephew, William J. Moore next door to the El Rancho Vegas. It had a very western theme which attracted many that visited Las Vegas. Moving into the 50s, the name would change to the New Frontier and Elvis would have his first ever Vegas performance there. Liberace and Judy Garland also would be performers at the Frontier properties. Then, Howard Hughes took over in the 60s and changed the name to just the Frontier where things would get larger and move more towards a modern look. Phil Ruffin would take over into the late 90s and then the casino would be imploded in 2007 after closing a few months before. Incredible thing to have stayed on the strip in the same location from the 40s up until 2007 and moving with changing times! Hope you enjoy!

Here's the link:
 

Okku

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Decided to take all of my quantity TRKs (stuff I have a barrel or more of) out just now to see what exactly I have and if there is any possibility of making a mixed TRK set to play with. I'm sure some of you guys would be able to see something out of this, most likely an easy set for one or two players to play with yes. As far as a set to play with 6, there might be something. Just wanted to show you guys and it's crazy to see how many chips you can get in a year/year and a half of collecting! Hope you guys enjoy!

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Okku

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Today we talk about cruise lines chips or what are called WET chips! Similar to casinos on land there are casinos that are based on cruise lines which are open from in a certain time frame as well as a certain distance from land. Aside from the other activities on a cruise ship, casinos were and still are, a major hit on them for those that don't have access to them all the time. People all over the world have had the chance to build some of the worlds nicest sets with these chips too! Chips from the Starlite Cruises, Royal Venture Cruise Line, Regency Cruises are just to name a few. These bright colors and amazing, simplistic inlays matched with normal 39mm and 43mm sized chips make for some crazy looking sets! Hope you enjoy!

Here's the link:
 

Okku

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Today we'll be talking about the popular Normandie club that was located in Gardena, California at the location on South Vermont Avenue before moving to 1045 West Roserans Avenue from the years of 1947 up until 2016, before changing into the Lucky Lady Casino. The Normandie Club was originally opened up by Russ Miller who was a former doorman at the Embassy Club for Ernie Primm. Miller would acquire the Western Club, built in 1940 and would later turn it into the Normandie Club. Once the Normandie Club was up and running it would join the Embassy Club which was opened in 1938. Lots of you who know already will immediately think about TRK or TR King Co, the famous large and small crown chips that many places in California used and I think all early clubs in Gardena did. Business would stay steady at the Normandie through the 60s and into the 80s when they would move the club to 1045 Rosecrans Avenue. After moving locations the Normandie would introduce 7-stud and Hold'em to the casino as well as Blackjack, Pai Gow, and Super 9, which was a fast-paced game that resembled baccarat. Russ Miller and his wife Mary would leave the Normandie to their four sons just before the year 2000. At this time, it would be the oldest card club in the state of California and it would have a very special place in history. The club would be open until 2016 when Larry Flynt would purchase the property and would have liked to turn it into a Vegas-style resort. With doing so, he also changed the name to the Lucky Lady Casino which is still open today.

I have got to say, this was a very fun video to research and produce. I knew that these Gardena clubs were popular, but I never noticed how much of an impact they made on the LA county and California as a whole. Being that Gardena was at one point called the "Poker Capital of the World" means that they were doing something right! Hopefully you guys enjoy the video and learn something, let me know what you think! Thanks.

 

Okku

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Today we talk about how the collector chip market just keeps going up and up! I swear every week the chip prices are getting higher and it's on things that everyone wants. The recent TRK craze in the past few months has led to Nevada Club $20s selling for over $70 each and recently a Circus Circus $100 Prize Units chip just sold for over $1,500! Simply incredible and it shows that the hobby is not over, not in the slightest. I think this is the beginning of another wave. People who are learning about it all over the world want to enjoy the history in casino chips and seem to really want these chips. I've been enjoying the past year seeing the prices go up and I'm sure they will hit a limit sometime, but when will that time be.

Here's the link:
 

Okku

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Today we'll be talking about the Overland Hotel/Overland Casino that was located in Reno, Nevada from the early 1900s up until 1977. Originally starting as a hotel and then later converting into a casino it was in Reno for a long time. It's first glimpse of gaming was in the 30s and then it would finally get into gaming fully in the late 50s and early 60s when Pick Hobson purchased the property. He did a full revamp, did the interior, opened the first floor for the casino and the place was filled with early-Comstock décor. This is another casino that many love to build casino chip sets out of and they are some of the most awesome chips, although a very simple inlay, that Reno and the world saw and still do! Chips from 10 cents all the way to $100. Later Harrah's would lease the Overland and the casino closed the next day. Then, getting demolished to make way for Harrah's parking garage.

Hope you enjoy!!:
 

Okku

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Hope you've all been well, today we are going to be talking about the difference between Leaded and Non-Leaded casino chips. The main difference is the weight and that's because the lead was mixed in with the rest of the mixture, as well as sometimes having that center circular piece of lead. It was used to add weight, but back in the days nobody took into account the possible health effects that lead could have on the body. Now a days and after 2006 no lead as been used in any chips. Although these chips aren't manufactured with lead anymore. People still love the leaded casino chips, the weight, the slightly different sound and feel of them is what makes them popular. They are vintage, they are cool and they are BRICKS!

Here's a little FYI if you are wondering if chips have lead or not. If the chip weighs above 10/10.5g it's most likely leaded. If it weighs above 11g for sure leaded. Post made by @lherron back in 2015 which you can find here.

-pre '98 most colors were 47% lead (lol...)
-'98-'06 most colors were >1% lead.. except for 7 colors which were still the old 47%
-post '06 basically zero lead

Similar to other manufacturers, there was an option when ordering if the customer wanted to order chips that were heavier or lighter. There are many examples of TR King chips from the same eras being different weights. For example a Jerry's Nugget $1 Small Crown chips weighs around 11.2g and another chip from the same era, same manufacturer may only weigh 9 or so grams. The thing to look for on chip order cards is the words "weighted", that will let you know that they were leaded. Now, this isn't on all chip order cards, but TR King Co. I've seen it many times.

Here's the video, hope you enjoy and have a great labor day!
 
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Okku

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Here's what David Spragg had to say about leaded chips and different manufacturers using what mixture in their chips. His feedback on the video that I made.

"Up until the 1980's SOME chips (where customer requested super heavy) contained a piece of lead shot in the center. (Mostly Christy Jones H&C inlaid chips).
Weighting was also achieved through lead powder, tungsten powder or brass powder. The word 'weighted' on an order card could refer to any of these 3, it does not necessarily mean lead.

Additional to this lead, certain color dyes also contained lead.
I have no idea where the 47% came from, per chip it averaged 47ppm (parts per million) when tested for a CA class action lawsuit 20 years or so ago. Some colors were found as high as 200ppm.

In around 1998 lead as a 'weighting' was stopped and some color dyes were replaced.
By 2006 all color dyes either contained no lead or in the case of 7 it was reduced to below the legal amount (19ppm?).
I'm not 100% sure it is totally absent from every dye right now."

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allforcharity

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Additional to this lead, certain color dyes also contained lead.
I have no idea where the 47% came from, per chip it averaged 47ppm (parts per million) when tested for a CA class action lawsuit 20 years or so ago. Some colors were found as high as 200ppm.

I don't think the 47% figure has at all to do with the dyes. I thought that the lead powder that was added was found to be 470,000 ppm (or 47%). Of course, this means 47% of the material, but it could have been a different % of the total weight depending on what else was in the formula.
 

Okku

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I don't think the 47% figure has at all to do with the dyes. I thought that the lead powder that was added was found to be 470,000 ppm (or 47%). Of course, this means 47% of the material, but it could have been a different % of the total weight depending on what else was in the formula.
Not too sure, but I think people have learned a lot about this today. Some people on ChipBoard didn't truly understand it either and I believe that it's been a good day for everyone. Going into the specifics was great and hearing the ppm specs, time frames etc. It'd be awesome to see the pictures the Spragg mentioned about, I think that would be very exciting.
 

CrazyEddie

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The 47% figure comes from a letter that the CEO of GPI wrote to their customers, in which he stated:

Until 1998, these clay chips all contained approximately 47% (that is 470,000 Parts Per Million, or “PPM”) of lead in order to give them the weight that dealers and players were used to. Since 1998, the Paulson chip has had significant reductions in its lead content resulting in chips sold between January 1998 and November 2006 having a lead content of a few thousand PPM to a maximum of 6,500 PPM (0.65% in weight) for most of the approximately 70 colors of the available palette with the exception of 6 colors for which no acceptable formulation had been found until the second part of 2006.

Since November 2006, none of the chips manufactured have had lead levels that exceeded 6,500 PPM (0.65% in weight). Directly as a result of our continuous reformulation processes, we are pleased to report that all Paulson chips manufactured since October of this year have a lead content of less than 50 PPM (0.005% in weight).

In addition, prior to this letter, there was a TV station that hired a lab to test Paulson chips for lead. Reportedly, the lab determined that the chips contained 47% lead.

All of the above information comes from Key West (a reseller of ASM/CPC chips), who has posted it here: https://www.keywestresortcasino.com/the-great-casino-chip-lead-scare.html

There doesn't seem to be first-hand information about where the 47% number came from, since Key West is a secondary source and not a primary source, and the primary sources may be gone (or at least not on the Internet). But it's conceivable that the lab hired by the TV station found 47% and that the Paulson CEO simply repeated that number in his letter without performing any further analysis on their own.

That was in Nov 2007. Paulson said that all newly-manufactured chips were down to 0.005% lead as of Oct 2007. By Aug 2008, the Arizona Department of Health Services had tested Paulson's chips and found that they had "concentrations of lead significantly lower than those reported by the television station". It's not clear that the TV station and the AZ DHS were testing the same chips. This information comes by way of a Aug 2008 report in the Las Vegas Sun: https://m.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/aug/01/gamblers-be-warned-lead-vegas-companys-poker-chips/

However, I suspect the following:
  • The 47% was what one lab found, but labs are full of crap.
  • The CEO didn't dispute the 47% figure and in fact repeated it, because Paulson didn't have any way to test it themselves or perform any other sort of analysis to determine what the actual figure would have been for chips that they manufactured ten years previously, and their main task at the time was to send out a reassuring letter to their customers.
  • A subsequent analysis by the AZ DHS was probably more rigorous, and while we don't know what number they came up with, or even which chips they tested, it was "significantly less" than 47%.

    ... and so, accordingly:

  • The "47%" figure is just a bunch of crap.
Alas, I have no way to prove my suspicions.

None of this, however, is relevant to ASM or CPC chips. The TV station's lab tested Paulson chips, the CEO of Paulson wrote about their own chips, and the AZ DHS tested Paulson chips. Nobody else's chips were mentioned in anything connected to the 47% figure.

None of the information we have at our fingertips is primary sources, so there's no good way to even know whether 47% is even being accurately reported (did the lab actually say 470,000 ppm, or was that a misunderstanding?) or, for example, whether the 47% refers to the entire body of a chip or just the minuscule amount of dyes used to color the chip. Diligent research, probably using actual paper records in actual libraries, and possibly including FOIA requests in order to turn up the relevant government documents, might shed more light on this particular subject... but cursory google searches probably won't.
 

Okku

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Today we look at what I'm accumulated in one and a half years of collecting casino chips. It's been a journey so far and its not anywhere close to being done. I currently have somewhere around 1150-1200 chips. Not all of them are individuals as I do have quantity of a couple things which make up that number. My favorite stuff is still the TRKs all day long, but there are a bunch of other cool things I have. The illegal chips are up on that list and I am going to be looking for more of those in the future. Building an illegal casino chip set sounds like an awesome thing, imagine playing with chips that mobsters used to play with...... NOW that's what I'm talking about! Thanks for always watching, sharing and commenting. Your supports truly means the world to me and I can't wait to see what more this hobby brings! Thank you!

Here's the link:
 

Okku

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I've been thinking about how we could share the stories of those that have been collecting chips. Those that have been "in the game" since the early days of casino into the 2000s, 2010s or even those how are just getting into the hobby. How things have changed, the most insane sets they have ever owned or even what their favorites memories are. It would be awesome to share those stories with the community, the hobby and the world. I feel like over the past year or two have been insane for the hobby as far as gaining momentum and seeing prices increase rapidly.

With that in mind, I'd like to propose a podcast style series I'd like to start. I'm still thinking about what I'd call it, I was originally thinking "Chip Talk". If anyone has a good title that would be awesome!

If you'd like to be interested and would want to see this happen, let me know! I would love to sit down for 30 minutes or an hour talking about how people got into the hobby, what they love about it and everything chips. I could probably talk for hours like most of us. Also, if there are people you'd like to see on the series, let me know too. I can get in contact with them and hopefully set up a time where we could sit down and talk. These would get uploaded to my channel and it would be awesome to have pictures if anyone has been documenting their collection from the very beginning up until now. I'd be very excited to do this and would love to share with you guys!

If there is anyone on here, tag them here and let's see all the names you'd like to see!
 

Okku

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Taking a quick closer look at leaded casino chips and how different manufacturer used to do it. In this video I show that indeed Christy and Jones did actually have a piece of lead in the middle of the chip to add the weight. Paulson, TRK, Jack Todd Co and other manufacturer could have possibly done the same thing or they could have mixed it into the mixture for the chip itself.

Here's the link:
 
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