The very first casino was made legal around 1626, in Venice Beach. However, gambling in general dates back to ancient times in China and Mesopotamia. During these times, small objects that symbolized monetary value could be cashed in at the end of a gambling session. They were called casino chips; or cheques. Gambling, in general, was still fairly new and the system for cashing out had not been refined yet.
Before the mid-1900s, those who gambled would use almost any small object as a symbol of the given game wager. Most of the time, these objects would consist of small cuts of silver and gold. Casinos and betting saloons of the early days had no consistent structure as to how debts were settled. For this reason, many of these entities began to use what we now know to be casino chips.
It was not long before high-class gambling institutions began to produce their own exclusive gambling chips. These were often made from substances such as ivory or animal bone. Lower-level gambling houses would often revert to materials such as paper and shellac to serve as their wager tokens. One of the cons of having such cheap casino chips was that they were easy to duplicate. For this reason, gambling houses started to put special markings and signs on their chips; to decrease fraudulent activities.
By the middle of the 19th century, a new method of making uniform casino tokens was created. This consisted of molding proprietary blends of clay for gambling houses and casinos throughout the United States of America. Soon after the American surge in mass poker chip creation, the rest of the world would soon follow suit. One of the early flaws to these new models of game chips was that due to the resourced clay, the chips were fragile and broke easily if players were not gentle. During the late 1900s, casino chip production companies began to mix other ingredients in with the clay. The result of this procedure change was a more durable chip; that could handle years of usage. This would become the base for what casinos now use as their standard gambling chips. Although all production companies use their own secret formulas, each chip has to meet certain standards and requirements to be used in major casinos.
In 1985, new alternate game chip material would be introduced to the casino industry. Ceramic casino chips were made as a cheaper substitute for the traditional clay models. This also allowed different gambling houses and casinos to customize their chips even more. In less than two decades, the production and concept of casino chips were revolutionized. In the 20th century, casinos now have security mechanisms built into their game chips; to ensure a non-fraudulent experience for everyone who is playing. Even online casinos have taken note of the popularity that uniquely designed poker chips have gained over the past several decades. Many of these digital casinos allow their users to select or make customer gambling chips.