Gambling Collectibles Background
After decades of collecting and amassing a large, diverse, comprehensive collection of gambling artifacts, I began to explore the possibility of bringing a world-class gambling museum to Las Vegas. Since my collection alone couldn’t support a museum on the scale I envisioned, I reached out for several prominent collectors, all specializing in different genres. The support was universal, especially given my idea for a highly-interactive format with many one-of-a-kind features and attractions.
After three years of meeting several casino owners and decision makers, I began to lose my passion and finally reached a point where I was convinced that casino executives just didn’t get it. They couldn’t see the potential . . . refusing to give up any free space, rather opting for more slots, another bar, or restaurant.
I came close to securing the entire second floor of a well-known property with escalators leading up to the second floor and exiting from the second floor, but the general manager got cold feet in the closing hours. That was it for me. I decided to sell my collection at auction in 2009.
In preparation for the auction, I put together an informal catalog. It was almost 400 pages with around 1,000 color photographs—small in comparison to the almost 50,000 photographs of the collection that were taken prior to the auction for the purpose of establishing a pictorial record. When word got out about the catalog and auction, I was bombarded with requests from collectors, magicians, casino executives, and many more to buy the catalog. Although I did manually put together several catalogs for friends, the catalog was not ready for publication. But it is now.
Over the last six months, I significantly revamped every section in the catalog by expanding the text, increasing the size of the photographs, and adding more photographs. The catalog quickly transformed into a book that I have titled Gambling Collectibles - A Pictorial Journey. Oddly, the book’s focus is not gambling collectibles, per se, but the stories behind the evolution of dice, playing cards, chips, tables and layouts, games, cheating, gambling books, and novelties.
Gambling Collectibles - A Pictorial Journey now consists of almost 700 pages with over 2,600 color photographs of my collection.