I am a retired employee of New Jersey Bell Telephone Co./Bell Atlantic, with 38 years service at the time of my retirement as a Systems Technician in
1996. I am a 35+ year member of the American Numismatic Association,
with a strong background in coins, tokens and medals collecting… having
held office in several local, state, and national numismatic organizations.
My loving and very supportive wife, Brenda, has put up with my
collecting habits since the day we got married in 1958; over 60
One of the most common questions asked of me is how I got started collecting
casino chips. Over 50 years ago I collected tokens and medals from my home
state of New Jersey… all kinds of tokens and medals. Aluminum,
brass, silver, copper, wooden nickels, plastic… anything that had NJ printed
on it… from town celebrations, to Centennials and Bi-Centennials. From
parking tokens to toll tokens to arcade tokens and drink tokens and
advertising tokens, personalized tokens, including political items … all were
fair game… and much sought after. When legalizing casinos in New Jersey was first being promoted in 1974, lots of items were being produced to persuade
voters to “Vote Yes” in the ’74 NJ state referendum. When that effort failed,
it was resurrected again in 1976, but this time the language of the proposal
limited casinos to Atlantic City only… which passed handily at the polls.
When the first casino, Resorts International, opened on May 26, 1978 a whole
new collecting aspect to my New Jersey collection opened up … and as they
say, “the rest became history”. Today, the coin collections are gone, the NJ
tokens and medals are gone, and the only collecting interests I have
remaining are casino chips and casino hotel room keys exclusively.
In 1986-1987, a few chip-collecting friends from around the country
were corresponding back and forth with each other, which promptly grew
to a couple dozen “pen pals”. Instead of writing individually to each one of
them, I began publishing an informal “newsletter” on my Magnavox word
processor to send to all of them at the same time. These early newsletters
eventually became what is known today as the CC>CC quarterly magazine, “Chip
& Token News”.
A suggestion was made that I organize a chip and token collectors club since
I had prior experience holding office in several hobby clubs … being the
current President of Ocean County Coin Club, New Jersey’s largest and most
active coin club, and I was also serving as one of only two A.N.A. District
Representatives for the state of New Jersey and President of the Garden State
Numismatic Association, an umbrella organization of more than 30 coin clubs
in New Jersey.
An organizational meeting was held in Cincinnati, Ohio at the American
Numismatic Association’s Annual Convention in 1988 where I was elected the
founding President of our small club (Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens
Collectors Club) that has exploded today to more than 2,000 worldwide
members. I served CC>CC as founding President for eleven consecutive
years, from 1988-1999 with a lot of invaluable help from several other early
key officers such as Janice O’Neal, Michael Knapp, Bruce Landau, Chuck
Tomarchio, Earl Donley, Jim Steffner and others along the way. I was also the
organization’s First Newsletter Editor for several early years and the club’s
first Convention Chairman in 1992 and 1993 … held at the old Aladdin Hotel
Casino in Las Vegas. I have attended every convention held in Las Vegas since
then and have been the honored recipient of several club awards, from
“Recruiter of The Year” over a ten year period; to Honorary Life Member
#001; to being the first inductee into the CC>CC’s Hall of Fame.
I’ve published two widely-accepted standard reference catalogs, “Black’s
Catalog of Atlantic City Casino Chips & Gaming Tokens” issued 1990;
revised 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. The 1990 Edition was the first
fully illustrated catalog in the hobby that featured full-color illustrations
of chips. The 2008 Edition of Black’s Catalog of Atlantic City Casino
Chips & Gaming Tokens” was named “Book Of The Year” by the
CC>CC. In 1999 I authored a companion catalog, also fully illustrated,
“Black’s Catalog of Puerto Rico Casino Chips” which still remains
today as the standard reference work on that popular subject.
In the year 2000, I befriended a couple of individuals, David Juergens and
Dennis Garnier, to whom I owe a big debt of gratitude who made my Atlantic
possible. Dennis Garnier, a very good friend, still maintains and
periodically updates my A.C. website.
I am available to answer most any questions you may have about this wonderful
hobby. My email address is