Do Casino Chips Expire And What Happens To Old Chips?

Do Casino Chips Expire And What Happens To Old Chips?

Casino Chips on TableAs we’ve discussed in other posts, casino chips are the bread and butter of any casino. Not only do they look cool stacked high around a blackjack table, but they also allow players to enjoy games safely and securely. At almost every casino in the world, players must trade their cash for chips the minute they enter, but should you budget wisely so that you don’t end up with surplus chips or can you save them till your next visit?

Today we’re discussing if casino chips do have an expiration date and what this means for you when you’re planning a trip to the casino. Plus, we’re looking at what happens to old chips when new ones are introduced and why it’s important for a casino to make sure they keep an eye on which of their casino chips are in circulation.


Casino Chips Do Have An Expiration Date

Expired Stamp

Like many things in life, casino chips do in fact have an expiration date. This, however, is not decided by a chip’s age, but by the bosses at the casino. This means that the life of a casino chip can range between a few weeks or a few decades.

Although the fact that casino chips do have an expiration date can seem quite annoying, the good news is that the expiration date is always issued several months in advance. This means that if you do have chips that are about to ‘go out of date,’ you have some time to make sure you cash them in.

Expiration dates were invented by casinos to protect them against fraud and to prevent people from being able to replicate chips. A casino chip’s expiration date is most commonly set when the casino plans to bring out a new type of chip, usually with new security features. This means that any old chips lose their face value and therefore can’t be traded or reproduced.

Another reason casino chips have an expiration date is because of a law that was introduced in the 80’s, which sought to prevent chips from being used as a form of currency. Since 1987, casino chips are property of the casino who issued them and therefore can only be exchanged for cash at the same casino. The law was created to decrease the amount of theft in casinos and so the expiration date helps to control how many chips are in circulation at any one time.

That being said, chips can still be shared between friends. For example, if you visited Vegas and came away with a few left over chips, you could give them to a friend, who is planning a trip shortly after. However, if the friend then wants to cash in those chips, they may be asked to prove their provenance.


What Can I Do With Old Casino Chips?

Old Casino Chips

When you hear of a casino chip having an expiration date, the first thing you should do is attempt to cash it in. However, we understand that this is easier said than done. Many people visit Vegas and other casinos on vacations, so it’s probably not worth jumping on a flight to try to redeem a couple of hundred quids worth of chips.

Some casinos many honor expired chips if they’re out of date by a few months to a year. Usually, however, this will only be allowed for lower denomination chips. If you take a few $1 expired chips into the casino, chances are they’ll exchange them simply out of good will. Yet this is always done at the discretion at the casino, so don’t be suprised if they flat out refuse.

If you do have old and expired casino chips the best thing you can do is to keep hold of them. Many casino chips are collectibles, especially those which are out of circulation. Collectible chips can soar in value and become worth way more than they ever started out as. For example, in 2008, an American woman sold a $1 chip on eBay for a staggering $29,000!

If you have an expired chip in your possesion, you can get it valued by an antique dealer or at a chip collector convention. If you’d rather keep it as a souvenir, then just remember to pass it on to family or friends, as you never know what it may end up being worth one day.


What Happens To Expired Casino Chips?

Casino Chips Found in Concrete

When a casino decides to bring out a new set of chips, therefore rendering the old ones useless, they must dispose of the old ones in a controlled way. First of all, the casino needs to submit their new plans for chips to the Gaming Control Board (if the casino is operating in Nevada). The plans must include a detailed breakdown of the new chips, including security features and ID tags. Furthermore, the plan must state how the casino will destroy the old chips.

Before new laws were introduced, there was no official way to dispose of chips and therefore each casino could do as they pleased with them. Of course, even back then, casinos wanted to make sure that the old chips couldn’t be used or replicated so they would try and find a way of making sure the chips were hidden. For instance, many chips have been dumped in Lake Mead or in other lakes.

Another common way of disposing of chips was to mix the chips into the foundations of new casinos. Some gamblers like to think that this gives the new casino good luck and many construction workers have found concrete slabs with hundreds of dollars worth of chips stuck in them.

These days, chips are most commonly sent back to their manufacturer to be ground down to dust. This assures that the new chips are the only ones in distribution. Given all the new security measures in newer chips, this ensures that casino chip security is as high as possible.

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