Casino chips (technically cheques unless at the roulette table) have long been a part of the gambling experience. Easier to use and harder to counterfeit than cash, chips come in all different designs and colors, though generally hold the same size from casino to casino. One exception is the “plaque” which is usually used in high stakes table games and are usually in a rectangular shape instead of the circular chip.
I was posed a question by a friend asking who has/had the highest denomination of casino chip. Upon further review, I discovered the now obsolete “London Club” inside the Aladdin convinced the Nevada Gaming Control Board back in 2000 to allow the use of a $10 million plaque. Also coming in $5 million and $1 million plaques, it is believed that the London Club had the highest denomination of chip in the world.
The London Club offered 30 table games and a five-star restaurant, catering largely to international guests. It marketed itself as North America’s first European gaming salon, likened to Monte Carlo (not the one across the street). Unfortunately, the Aladdin never got on its feet and the London Club failed as a result.
Though casinos lobby hard for the “whales” or high-limit players, you have to wonder if a billionaire with 10 of these $10m plaques in front of him would completely bust the casino. What happens if he wins? Even a slight win would drastically affect the quarterly profit, making you wonder why a casino would ever allow a $10m plaque in play. Sure, there is the “house edge,” but the edge is built over the long haul, not in short spurts. A lucky run here or there would kill almost any Vegas casino at this level of play.
Anyway, the London Club is now extinct, swallowed by the hipster Planet Hollywood, which, to my knowledge, doesn’t have a chip anywhere close to a $1 million. Instead of the European or Asian billionaire, you’re much more likely to find a couple of slick-haired guys from LA in their only Emporio shirt flipping $25 chips on the table in effort to show their status. Come to think of it, maybe I’d rather take my chances with the billionaire.