The Museum of Gaming History, brainchild of the Casino Chip and Gaming Token Collector’s Club, made its Facebook debut recently to wild enthusiasm from casino history enthusiasts across the world. The collectors’ club was first started in 1988 by Archie Black and his chip collecting friends, but the idea of an actual museum that collectors could wander through has been on the back-burner of CC>CC officers’ minds for years.
Ten years ago, Jim Kruse, a casino memorabilia collector and history buff, suggested the CC>CC needed a permanent home, an actual building, that could act as a magnet for new collectors, and as a museum and meeting place that would benefit both the club and its members. The idea, enthusiastically embraced by the Club was brought to a successful vote, endowed with $5,000 in seed money, and has been a focal point at each annual convention held in Las Vegas ever since.
When completed, the building and museum will encompass all aspects of gaming history, collecting, and preservation. Adopting the building fund also came with an admirable mission for the museum, as outlined on the Museum of Gaming History’s website:
Providing International Access
The Museum of Gaming History is unique to the world, just as its location — Las Vegas, Nevada. Nowhere else can we compare the multiple aspects of gaming across cultures and time while experiencing modern gaming in its grandest scale. This multi-faceted destination is readily accessible to an international audience of students, scholars, collectors, artists, entertainers, gaming industry employees, tourists and the general public alike.
Ensuring a Vital Future
The Museum seeks to act on its mission and foster international impact for generations to come. A facility will provide collection, archive, exhibition, retail and event space, as well as a state-of-the-art research environment, enabling members and visitors to interact in multiple ways. An endowment will fund permanent professional staff positions, build a research collection, provide the latest technology, and broaden the museum’s impact in multiple arenas. To fulfill this vision, we invite those who embrace the values of historic preservation and contemporary models for learning to partner with us in ensuring a vital future for the Museum of Gaming History.
Building Fund Progress
By late 2002 the building fund had grown to over $15,000 and the whole idea seemed feasible. In March of 2004, then President Mike Skelton announced that with fundraising the Club’s general account could transfer $50,000 to a Building Fund account. By 2008 the fund had more than doubled to $108,000 but as of today the Club has yet to find a suitable Las Vegas location or dedicate any funds to an actual project.
In lieu of an actual building, the museum has taken on a substantial web presence that hints at the greatness a physical location could truly bring to the project. You don’t have to be a history geek to enjoy timeless photos from the heyday of Nevada gambling.
The Museum of Gaming History’s website is loaded with hours and hours of videos about gaming, Las Vegas, and chip collecting. You can also browse pages of history by date: Gaming History – Week of July 29, 2012: 1931 – Reno, NV. Louvre Club opened at 22 East Commercial Row. It operated under a variety of owners until December of 1939. It next opened in May of 1940 as Martin’s Bar. Photos grace many of the articles.
Besides the Week in History, Museum Board Chairman Mike Skelton manages the overall goal of the MOGH and Webmaster Charles Kaplan makes sure the web site has other things to offer such as links to Chequer’s Magazine articles, current gaming news, and an online store. Donations to the building fund can also be made online.