Lighterman will talk Florida Gaming at South Point

Lighterman will talk Florida Gaming at South Point

June 06, 2017 3:10 AM


We have been writing about the Casino Collectibles Association’s upcoming convention in recent columns and gave information on a couple of the scheduled educational seminars. This week we are highlighting the “Florida Gaming” seminar presented by Mark Lighterman. It takes place June 23 at 8 a.m. in the Joshua Room at the South Point Casino.

When it comes to gaming chips and collectibles, especially those from Florida, Lighterman is a wealth of knowledge. He has a long history in coin collecting and, according to CCA’s website ( “he has been chief exhibit judge and is currently national exhibit coordinator for the American Numismatic Association (of which CC&GTCC is a member); he is secretary and treasurer of the Token and Medal Society; he is a board member and past president of Florida United Numismatists; and he is a founding member of the Floridian Chip Club, of which he is presently membership officer.”

Mark is also an original member of the Casino Chip & Gaming Token Collectors Club (now CCA), which was established in 1988, and was the club’s official photographer for over 15 years. In 2009 the club bestowed their highest honor on him and elected him to their Hall of Fame. This honor is reserved for members who have made significant and exemplary contributions and the greatest impact on the hobby and the club. He currently serves as a member of the club’s Standards and Archives Committee.

Another of Mark’s accomplishments is the 350-page book, “A Guide to Florida’s Gaming Chips, Checks and Tokens,” which he co-authored with Myrna (his mother) and Bob Ginsburg. An awful lot of research went into that book. It includes tons of historical information, photographs of Florida’s past illegal gaming history as well as day cruise ships. After Mr. Ginsburg passed away, Mark and Myrna published an extensively updated edition of the book.

In addition, he teamed with Gene Trimble, who has been collecting since the 1960s and is also in the club’s Hall of Fame, in publishing the records of H. C. Edwards, an early chip manufacturer.

If you have any interest in casino collectibles you will not want to miss this seminar. The club’s 25th annual convention, held at South Point, opens June 22 and continues through June 24. Check out their website for more details.

GARDEN WALK: The Memorial Day weekend found us strolling through the botanical garden at the Springs Preserve, getting ideas for a small landscaping project. We hadn’t been there in quite some time and were pleasantly surprised at how much it has grown and improved since its inception 10 years ago.

If you’ve never been, the Preserve is a beautiful, award-winning 180-acre experience with something for everyone in the family. It is located on Valley View Blvd. near Alta Drive, just a few miles from the Strip so it is also easily accessible to visitors and well worth the trip.

In addition to the garden, there are exhibits showcasing the history of the Las Vegas valley from prehistoric times to today, some with interactive hands-on options, travelling exhibits and more. There is also a section geared specifically to the younger visitors, and they have an ongoing schedule of classes and events. For the more active visitors there are hiking and biking trails (they rent bikes, too, including electric ones), and even train rides. You can get a full schedule of attractions and events at their website,

When you are ready for a little nourishment after all those exhibits and hiking, check out their Divine Café. They have a nice variety of offerings from soup and salad to burgers to wraps to pizza and flatbread, plus options for kids and desserts.

We went with their Nutty Popeye salad ($9.50), which included spinach, walnuts and dried cranberries with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and added chicken ($2). The serving was ample and the ingredients were fresh, crisp and delicious.

See you around town.