Chequers Book Reviews
The Professor, Michael Knapp

Ginsburg's Guide to the Chips & Casinos of Curacao, Robert A. Ginsburg (1998)

68 pages, wire bound, $24.95 + $3 shipping, Ragins Publishing Company, P. O. Box 1007, Orange, CT 06477

Not two years ago, collectors were starved for accurate and detailed information about chips and casinos in the Caribbean. Ralph Pollack published his Aruba book in 1997, and now Bob Ginsburg has followed with his book on Curacao. Caribbean chips can be quite confusing. As Ginsburg says in his introduction, "Also making organization more difficult is the common policy of changing names of a casino without changing the names on the checks."

In addition to color copies of the chips themselves, full-size, there are color copies of the casinos and hotels as well. An introductory article on the Clifford Jones/Jake Kozloff connection to Nevada and the Caribbean provides more information than collectors have previously had in one place. The next section of the book describes the hotels themselves and the development of their ownership and names. The ability to trace the succession of casinos, especially outside the U.S., has been difficult for collectors. Ginsburg makes it easy!

Bob Ginsburg is one of those who serves on a committee of the Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens Collectors Club, dedicated to attempting to devise a universal, worldwide numbering system for casino chips and tokens. A section of his Curacao book is devoted to an explanation of his version of such a numbering system, which he then uses to catalog the Curacao chips.

A descriptive catalog of Curacao chips follows, including all chips which Ginsburg has been able to verify and see - at least in photographic form. This section also includes, as a sort of postscript, a listing of chips identified in 1988 in Bill Borland's "Blue Book," but which Ginsburg has been unable to locate or verify. He has not included these chips in his main guide listing, in the event the chips did not exist at all, or were simply misattributed to Curacao. Following this section are 14 pages of color copies, in full size, of many of the chips of Curacao, each identified with its Ginsburg catalog number.

For serious collectors of Curacao, the Ginsburg book is a valuable library addition.