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Tomspur
Tomspur
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April 3rd, 2014 at 10:18:27 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

Category: South America
City: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Casino: Coliseum


It seem that this thread has again come around to an appropriate opportunity for me to post a few chips from my own collection. I decided to begin this little series with the thread's first chip from South America.

The Coliseum (according to the Museum of Gaming History) is a former casino that was located in the Los Tajibos Hotel and Convention Center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Neither the MOGH nor CasinoCity.com list any currently operating casinos in the entire country of Bolivia. There is, however, conflicting information available from OnlineCasinoSuite.com, which claims that there are currently three small brick-and-mortar casinos in Bolivia, including the Coliseum. That site goes on to say:

I cannot explain the conflicting information. I also cannot provide any more enlightenment about the Coliseum Casino based on my personal experience, because I have never visited there and have never even been to Bolivia. However, I did collect this souvenir chip by playing in a casino, which makes it a legitimate part of my collection. ;-)

I obtained this chip while visiting Curacao during a cruise that my wife and I took last November. I have previously noted that many of the casinos in the Caribbean don't seem to care just whose chips they are using in play. As I described when I posted my chip from the Plaza Casino in Curacao, they also don't seem to pay much attention to what denomination the chips claim to be. And there can even arise some possible confusion about the names of casinos: which is the "Plaza" casino -- the Paradise Plaza or the Royal Plaza? Answer: the Royal Plaza used to be called the Plaza.

When I visited Curacao in 2009, I played in the Paradise Plaza Casino, which had previously been called the Americana casino. On that visit, I picked up two souvenir chips, one of which was a $1 token from the Treasure Island casino in Sint Maartin and the other a $1 chip bearing the casino's previous "Americana" name. I have posted both of those previously.

Since they didn't have any "Paradise Plaza" chips in 2009, I went back to play again in 2013, hoping to get one. They still didn't have any with that designation in any denomination, and the MOGH catalog doesn't show any either. What they did have in play were the Treasure Island tokens in the $1 denomination and $5 chips from the Coliseum Casino in Bolivia. This time I kept the $5 souvenir – what the heck, I could afford to be a spendthrift, since I still came out $15 ahead at blackjack.

The chip is a red plastic injection molded chip with four gray edge "inserts" and four matching crescents, with a center ring around a silver coin insert. I believe it was made by Matsui, but I am not certain. The name of the casino is presented in a font similar to what is used on the Caesars Palace chip that I posted. The MOGH catalog says that this chip was used at the former Coliseum Casino in Bolivia and is currently used at both the Paradise Plaza where I got it and at the Coliseum Casino in Phillipsburg, Sint Maartin (which CasinoCity.com claims is called the Coliseum Princess.)



Doc, I have spent an awful lot of time inside the Coliseum casino in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten and this chip bears a strong resemblance to the $5 chips used there. The chips have a coin center but the outside rim looks a little different to this one, not much though. The writing is in the same font.

SOme of the unfriendliest dealers on the planet inside that casino. Also some of the worst. I remember a girl dealing blackjack and she couldn't pick up the chips with her fingers because her fingernails were so long........a common occurance in the Caribbean :)
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” - Winston Churchill
Doc
Doc
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April 4th, 2014 at 7:19:37 AM permalink
See, Tom, if you had just kept some chips from there, you could have posted a reply image, and we could have multiple "Bolivia" casino souvenir chips, all of which were collected in casinos but none while in South America!

The MOGH chip guide collection for the Coliseum casino in Philipsburg includes three $5 chips that are almost identical. One matches mine, saying "Bolivia" but the other two have brass coin inserts and say "St. Maarten". Those two differ very slightly in the length of the edge inserts and the size of the crescents. Naturally, MOGH attributes the chips to Bud Jones, but I remain skeptical.
Doc
Doc
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April 4th, 2014 at 8:27:01 AM permalink
Category: Caribbean Islands
City: Kralendijk, Bonaire
Casino: Divi Flamingo


The principal city of the island of Bonaire is Kralendijk, which translates as "bead dike," where the "beads" are the coral shells that form the undersea walls of a scuba paradise just off the Bonaire beach. The Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino is located in Kralendijk, just a few blocks up the street from the cruise ship port. The property has two restaurants and a hotel with 129 rooms.

According to CasinoCity.com, the Divi Flamingo casino's 2,500 square foot gaming space features sixty gaming machines and seven table games, including:
• American Roulette, 1 table
• Blackjack, 3 tables
• Poker
• Roulette, 1 table

Now that list certainly makes it seem that there should be a total of two roulette tables, with one possibly having only a single zero. That is not the case, as may clearly be seen in this photo that shows the entire table gaming area of the casino. If you think that area looks small, I should note that I believe it is roughly half of the entire casino floor.


I can only guess that the CasinoCity listing is an example of double counting the roulette table. I don't think they have a real poker room elsewhere, though a two-table room somewhere to the side would bring the five tables visible in the photo to the total of seven that CasinoCity lists. I think they have just these five tables, and probably one of these card tables offers some poker variant.

My wife and I visited Bonaire last Novemer on our cruise, and I took that walk down to the Divi Flamingo. As you can see in the photo, the table games were not in operation while I was there, so I resorted to the practice I developed early last year to handle such situations: buy the chip(s) at the cashier and play $1 in a slot machine so that I can say I added the souvenir chip to my collection while gambling in the casino.

The Divi Flamingo is another Caribbean casino that doesn't get uptight about whose chips they are using. The $1 chips they had were from the Alhambra casino in Aruba. I have already posted an Alhambra $1 token that I got in play at the Seaport Casino in Aruba, and I later edited that post to include an Alhambra $1 chip that member JW17 picked up in the real Alhambra and sent to me as a gift. The $1 chips that they had at the Divi Flamingo were identical to the chip that JW17 provided.

In order to better represent the casino where I "gambled", I picked up a $5 souvenir from the cashier. It is a red, somewhat-faded Chipco ceramic chip, and it does indeed have the name and logo of the Divi Flamingo – the namesake bird wading at sunset. It does not include an image of the Divi-divi tree.

Konbu
Konbu
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April 4th, 2014 at 10:42:32 PM permalink
This is off topic but does anyone know how current are the casino lists at http://wizardofvegas.com/hotels/ and https://easy.vegas/casinos/list ?? I'm planning to visit some 20-25 casinos on this trip and collect.
Last edited by: unnamed administrator on Aug 19, 2019
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rdw4potus
rdw4potus
Joined: Mar 11, 2010
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April 5th, 2014 at 6:29:22 AM permalink
Quote: Konbu

This is off topic but does anyone know how current are the casino lists at http://wizardofvegas.com/hotels/ and https://easy.vegas/casinos/list ?? I'm planning to visit some 20-25 casinos on this trip and collect.



I just skimmed the lists and they both look pretty OK to me. Aliante is no longer associated with Stations, but that's the only glaring error I see (oddly, on both lists). The list on WOV is more complete, as it includes properties in the whole Vegas area while the EasyVegas list doesn't include several excellent properties (M, GVR, Sunset Station) that happen to be in Henderson.
Last edited by: unnamed administrator on Aug 19, 2019
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
Doc
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April 5th, 2014 at 7:23:50 AM permalink
Category: Caribbean Islands
City: Otrabanda, Willemstad, Curacao
Casino: Kura Hulanda


The Casino Kura Hulanda is/was located on the Otrabanda (other side) section of Willemstad, meaning that it is not in the Punda, or "point" section of the city. Before sailing on our cruise last fall, I checked the web and tried to pick out casinos that I wanted to visit in the ports that had such facilities.

The Kura Hulanda Spa and Casino was one establishment that made my list, but I had conflicting information about whether it was still in operation. The MOGH chip guide said that the casino had closed in 2012, but CasinoCity.com said (and still says) that it is still in operation, though maybe with only poker in play. Several sites on the web offered to book stays at what was described as the 5-star Kura Hulanda Hotel, so I thought it was worth taking a look.

I had the address of the facility, and it was within reasonable walking distance of the ship's port. It was also very close to the Pelikaan casino that I wanted to check out. After leaving the Paradise Plaza Casino, we wandered through a couple of alleys and up a hill to the hotel-spa-casino site, and as we arrived, it was clear that something was amiss. There were guards at the entrance gate, and they didn't look like the typical security staff. As best I could figure, it seemed that the whole place – hotel, spa, casino, everything – had been shut down in the way you would expect for a U.S. casino if there had been a raid by the IRS. No, there is nothing to see here. Go away.

I accepted that, and we walked down the block to the Pelikaan casino, where I played blackjack. So what kind of chips do you suspect that they were using at the Pelikaan? Yes, this is the Caribbean, so don't worry about whose chips are in the racks. The Pelikaan was using exclusively chips that said Casino Kura Hulanda. Of course, just to show how bad the info is that a potential visitor can scope out, CasinoCity says that the Pelikaan has only gaming machines, and the MOGH catalog includes only a no-cash-value token from the Pelikaan.

I am not sure what to make of all that. One possibility is that the Pelikaan used to be a machines-only establishment but that the tables, chips, dealers, etc. moved there when the Kura Hulanda was shut down. Anyway, they were dealing $5 blackjack at the Pelikaan, and in a ten-minute session I won a whopping $5 plus a $1 Kura Hulanda souvenir chip.



I have no idea what "Kura Hulanda" means. Google Translate indicates that it "detects" the Swahili language, but it only offers a translation of "lots Hulanda", so I'm not convinced. It does sound a wee bit like the name of the song "Hakuna Matata" from "The Lion King", which is a Swahili expression.
Doc
Doc
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April 6th, 2014 at 5:08:06 AM permalink
Category: Caribbean Islands
City: Oranjestad, Aruba
Casino: Seaport


I'm off with my wife and a couple of our neighbors for a day trip to Harrah's Cherokee today (three hour drive each direction), so I have to make this post early this morning. When we get home, it might be early Monday in our time zone, and I might be too beat to make the post before going to bed. Anyway, I am continuing with chips I gathered while on a cruise last November.

Two weeks less than a year ago, I posted in this thread the first entry from the Caribbean, a token from the Alhambra casino in Aruba that I had collected on a visit in 2009. In that post, I commented:

Quote: Doc

I received this souvenir token while it was in play at the Seaport Casino in the Seaport Village commercial development in downtown Oranjestad, just a short walk from the cruise ship port. That casino opened in 1993 and is listed in CasinoCity.com as having 788 machines, 7 poker tables, and 33 other gaming tables. I don't remember it as being that big. I played blackjack and lost $50. The Seaport Casino used only Alhambra tokens as their $1 chips while I was there.



When we visited Aruba again in 2013, I decided to return to the Seaport Casino to see whether I could get a chip with that facility's name on it, even if it had to be in a $5 denomination. This time I did not/could not play because the tables would not open until minutes before we had to be back on board our ship. However, I was able to buy a $1 chip from the cashier, and this one does indeed say "Seaport", unlike what was available before.

With regard to my comment last spring, the Seaport did seem to have a larger gaming floor than I remembered, but 33 still seems like an over estimate of the number of tables, at least in the main room. I didn't count them, and my impression could still be unreliable.

This is a light blue, plastic injection molded chip with twelve white edge inserts and a simple white center inlay with the casino name, the denomination, and the country all printed in black. Surprisingly, the MOGH catalog does not attribute this chip to Bud Jones. In fact, they don't attribute it to any manufacturer at all. I think it is from Icon and that it is what they call their "6 split" design, as if there are six (double) edge inserts with a gap within each.

Doc
Doc
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April 7th, 2014 at 8:16:31 AM permalink
Category: Caribbean Islands
City: Otrabanda, Willemstad, Curacao
Casino: Veneto


My wife and I wandered all around the downtown areas of both the Otrabanda and Punda sections of Willemstad on our cruise ship visit last November. We stopped by the Carnaval, the Paradise Plaza, the closed Kura Hulanda, the Pelikaan, and the Royal Plaza casinos, then she declared that she had had enough, and went back to our stateroom to rest. I decided to head out alone to collect just one more chip for the day.

The Veneto Casino and Holiday Beach Resort is a very nice facility, located about half a mile straight line (or more like a mile via the roads) from the cruise ship port, away from the center of town. The trail did not seem at all to be a likely one for the tourists on foot, but I made my way just fine. The hotel has more than 200 rooms, including beachfront cabana suites, and it seems to cater to the scuba crowd. Highlights among their dining options are the Lucky Beach Bar and Grill and a Denny's, so it's not quite the place to go looking for a high-end steak house.

CasinoCity describes Casino Veneto as having 29,848 sq. ft. of gaming space with 450 machines and 14 table games. The casino's own page agrees with that number of machines but does not give a count of their tables; my recollection is that they might have had more than that. They do list the games offered as a non-smoking poker pit, roulette, craps, blackjack, and Caribbean Stud. The craps table was not operating when I visited at about 4p.m., so I played $10 minimum blackjack for ten minutes and left $50 and a souvenir chip ahead.

I think there was some kind of side bet on the blackjack table, but I don't remember what it was. Their web site describes it as "Magic Blackjack" – is that the name of a patented side bet? The web site notes "a single $1.00 side bet qualifies each player for the chance to hit the Big One."

Perhaps because they offer the side bet, they were prepared when I asked to change a $5 chip to $1 chips. I don't know whether I played the side bet at all, but my reason for the cheque change was to have my souvenir in hand from the very beginning. Usually when I do that, I wind up betting the rest of the $1 chips for the dealer, one at a time. In this instance, however, I found that while players were allowed to toke the dealers, the casino did not permit players to wager for the dealers. I didn't ask for the details about that policy.

My souvenir chip is a white, plastic injection molded chip with three sets of two black edge inserts centered above a black bar on the inner ring. The inner ring also has the denomination three times, spaced between the bars. The center inlay is white with three colors of printing: the denomination in a blue script font, the logo script V in brown, and a red imprint with the name twice (as a script "Veneto" with "Veneto Casino" in all Roman caps below it) with the country at the bottom.

Naturally, the MOGH chip guide says this plastic chip is from Bud Jones, and this time I have to concede that they are probably correct. I have other chips with a similar inner ring and with the BJ logo on the center inlay, example here.



This concludes the set of chips that I collected last fall in the Caribbean, so tomorrow's Casino Chip of the Day will be one that I collected in Nevada back in September.
Ayecarumba
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April 7th, 2014 at 8:16:36 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

Category: Caribbean Islands
City: Otrabanda, Willemstad, Curacao
Casino: Veneto



I note that this casino has the same, or very similar, name to a casino the Wizard visited in Panama that was crawling with prostitutes. Is "Veneto" the brand name of a chain of casinos?
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Nareed
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April 8th, 2014 at 7:02:25 AM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

I note that this casino has the same, or very similar, name to a casino the Wizard visited in Panama that was crawling with prostitutes. Is "Veneto" the brand name of a chain of casinos?



Veneto is a region in Italy, and it's possible the casinos are named after it. The biggest city of the region is Venice (notice the similarities in name?). Possibly, too, the casinos are named rather after a street in Rome known as Via Veneto, which is a rather elegant and expensive comercial street, not entirely unlike Rodeo Drive. The third possibility is that the names were taken to kind of allude to the Venetian casino in las Vegas.
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