Chequers Book Reviews
The Professor, Michael Knapp

Collecting Casino Memorabilia, Donald D. Spencer (1998)

138 pages, perfect bound with laminated cover, Camelot Publishing Company; $25 plus $3 postage, Camelot Publishing Company, 39-B Coolidge Ave., Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Another in Don Spencer's series of books on casino collectibles, this volume explores the world of casino gaming collectibles in an informative and humorous manner. It offers a small taste of what appears in several of Spencer's other books, which concentrate specifically on collecting casino chips, playing cards, matchbooks, cocktail napkins and dice.

To whet the appetite of collectors and non-collectors alike, there are 8 pages in full color which illustrate the various types of collectibles discussed in the book. Black and white photographs and illustrations are scattered liberally throughout the book, making it an attractive and interesting addition to the collector's library.

Virtually all collectors have found their collections expanding at some point, to include items other than the primary type of material they began to collect. Spencer's overview book considers 36 different classes of casino collectibles, and I'd be surprised if most of us didn't have quite a few of them represented in one way or another in our own collections. There's a chapter for each of the 36 types of gaming collectibles that Spencer has concentrated on for this book: advertising, art, ashtrays, autographs, bingo cards, books, buttons, playing cards, chips, Chuck-A-Luck apparatus, cocktail napkins, dice, drink coasters, faro apparatus, gaming guides, glassware, holiday collectibles, ivory chips, jewelry, keno forms and crayons, magazines, matchcovers, paper collectibles, photographs, postcards, posters, punchboards, roulette chips, signs, slot club cards, slot machines, statues, swizzle sticks, tokens and trade stimulators, and of course that ubiquitous topic: miscellaneous!

There's no question that Collecting Casino Memorabilia is a fun book to add to one's library, and may even provide some ideas for new collecting areas. Whether that's a blessing or not depends on each collector's viewpoint!