It was 2003 when an beginner poker participant with the ironic identify of Chris Moneymaker received the World Collection of Poker. It was a time when video games like Texas Maintain ’Em grew to become a sensation.
“Everybody and his mom wished to be poker stars and everybody wished to play poker at dwelling,” mentioned Mikko Melander, 40, co-owner of Spinetti’s Gaming Provides in Las Vegas. “That’s actually when the enterprise grew exponentially.”
Twenty years later, enterprise continues to be good for brand new and classic poker chips and retired poker and blackjack decks at Spinetti’s warehouse and retailer at 810 S. Commerce St. downtown. Its stock contains about 7 million chips, 300,000 decks of playing cards and 20,000 pairs of craps cube.
“It’s a sweet retailer for actual gamblers,” Melander mentioned. “You will get a model new set of chips or you may get a set from the Nevada Membership in Reno that’s an actual set of chips, used within the on line casino. It’s very distinctive — I don’t suppose wherever else on the planet.”
Flamingo, Dunes chips in excessive demand
Spinetti’s doesn’t supply chips to the casinos, which order specifically made ones with sensors implanted in them for counting as required by Nevada gaming officers.
The enterprise sells primarily custom-made poker chips for dwelling use, sometimes ordered from its web site, with a customizing machine that warmth treats the chips to a desired colour— in blue, gold, silver, crimson, white and black — or stamps on designs like logos or portraits as ordered by the shopper, a course of that takes about two hours.
For the typical participant, a minimal order of 100 primary “sizzling stamp” coloured poker chips, which vary from 5 cents to $25,000, goes for as little as 12 cents a chip.
An attention-grabbing a part of Spinetti’s stock are the actual classic chip units on the market from closed casinos previously in Las Vegas and northern Nevada. A set of 300 chips as soon as used on the Dunes Resort, which closed on the Strip in 1993, goes for $1,799, whereas a 300-piece set from the Aladdin Resort, which shuttered in 1997, is $1,100.
For the collector, there are even classic single chips from casinos, authorized and unlawful, going again to the Nineteen Thirties and Nineteen Forties.
Essentially the most in demand are “the large names that individuals nonetheless bear in mind,” together with the previous Flamingo, the Dunes and the Sands due to the Rat Pack, Melander mentioned.
Their costliest collectable, he mentioned, is a $5 Dunes chip for $3,499, then a Nineteen Forties Flamingo chip for $2,900. A Showboat chip from the Nineteen Fifties as soon as bought for $25,000, he mentioned.
The enterprise additionally shows an array of retired Las Vegas on line casino craps, roulette, blackjack and poker tables acquired on the market and supply. An 8-foot former Binion’s Horseshoe craps desk is up for $8,995, a 4 Queens roulette is $1,299 and a blackjack desk from the Tuscany is $1,199.
Spinetti’s additionally customizes felt layouts of poker tables and ships them to clients, whereas additionally renting out desk video games for native occasions.
Chip enterprise booming
Anne Spinetti, the co-owner and Mikko’s aunt, was married to Mike Spinetti, who based the enterprise in 1998 and handed away in 2020. She mentioned she met Spinetti within the Nineteen Eighties in Jackson, Calif., the place he served as city mayor
When unlawful casinos have been closed down in Jackson, Mike Spinetti began to purchase the previous chips from vintage shops, later rising his assortment on RV journeys he and Anne took to Ely and elsewhere in Nevada.
“We went to flea markets and we’d come dwelling with all types of treasures,” she mentioned.
Then 15 years in the past, when Mike Spinetti was an early entrepreneur on eBay promoting antiques and some classic chips “he realized his chips have been worthwhile and other people have been bidding on them,” she mentioned.
“It went actually, actually loopy and we had just a little storage and have been labored like loopy placing chip units collectively and sending them all around the nation,” she mentioned.
After Mike and Anne Spinetti constructed a profitable enterprise and wished to journey as an alternative of working day-to-day, Melander agreed to take over working the place.
They expanded past chip units to desk video games and on line casino memorabilia, however the curiosity in classic chips continues to be excessive.
“For those who like playing or the on line casino historical past of Vegas, chips is a extremely nice solution to join all of that,” Melander mentioned.
Contact Jeff Burbank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0382. Observe him @JeffBurbank2 on X.