Plenty of famous people have been featured on Las Vegas commemorative casino chips over the years. But none has been, or likely ever will be, more famous than Jesus Christ himself.
For several years after it opened in 1993, the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer sold commemorative chips that featured an image of Jesus on one side and the shrine’s address, 55 East Reno Ave., on the other. The chips could be purchased for a $5 donation to the shrine, which was built to accommodate the needs of Catholic tourists staying on the south end of the Strip.
But the shrine’s offbeat relationship with casino chips didn’t end there. For years, it was Brother Andre Le May’s job to periodically make the rounds of casinos to cash in real casino chips found in the collection plate or used to purchase items in the shrine’s gift shop.
Le May — a Franciscan friar who also taught at Our Lady of Las Vegas school — noted in a 1993 interview with the Review-Journal that that job earned him the nickname of the shrine’s “chip monk.”