Collecting Casino Matchbooks

Collecting casino matchbooks can be a great and inexpensive hobby. There are dozens of clubs and groups that center on collecting matchbooks such as the American Matchcover Collecting Club and the oldest Phillumenic Organization in the world, the Rathkamp Matchcover Society. The CC>CC; is another group that has many matchbook collectors, and their emphasis is on matches from casinos.

Casino matches and matchbooks are a very popular collectible because each one represents a completely different casino. Enthusiasts often find different matches and match books or boxes from restaurants inside the casinos, and each one can hold a special memory from meals, gambling or other events.

The Best Thing About Matchbooks

While everybody has a different reason for collecting matchbooks, the best thing about saving them is that they are very inexpensive. They are free in casinos, and the best covers depict some special aspect of the club. As an advertising medium, they often show the casino’s trademark logo or catch phrase.

Famous Casino Matchbook Sayings

The Sands – a Place in the Sun

Harold’s Club – Harold’s Club or Bust

Desert Inn – everything under the sun

Las Vegas Club – Largest Sign West of Chicago

Sahara – A new high in resort living

Mapes Sky Room – Dancing in the clouds

New Frountier – Out of this world

Sonoma Inn – The pride of Nevada’s highways

Some collectors like matches in their original state and save them folded over with unused matches inside. Other collectors prefer to carefully remove the matches so the booklets can be flattened out and both sides viewed at the same time. Many timeless covers from the 1940-1960’s have printing on the inside of the cover also.

Casino Matchbook Prices

While many collectors never save anything they didn’t get for free at a casino, some are more interested in the historical aspects of older covers. Matches from closed casinos are off course worth more, usually selling for a few dollars a book. Rarity and popularity govern the prices of other matchbooks. A nice unstuck (no matches have been scratched on the strike plate) booklet from the hotel Sahara in Las Vegas from the late 1950’s might fetch $5-$8. A similar matchbook from the Lucky Strike club from down on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas might actually command a few dollars more because there were never as many made.

Collectors have found Ebay to be a fine place to find small collections of matchbooks at prices as low at 10-15 cents each. Individual matchbooks are often just a couple dollars. More valuable, fancy covers

from small clubs like Felix’s in Lovelock and Winnemucca with scalloped edges and the logo cat might find buyers in the $10-$15 range.

Remember, if you collect your matchbooks with the matches attached, they are flammable, and must be stored with care.