And I'd venture to say, controversial as well?
I'm not going to keep repeating myself, because I think it's clear that personally I think chips are plastic, not minted and I'm a collector not investor or dealer. Others may have different motivations. I can accept that. Tokens, slot tokens Etc. should those be slabbed as well? They are even more like coins.
Now for devils advocate...
How is slabbing that much different from what most of us do already to store our chips? Most of us can say that we have chips in air tights, 2x2's and books (like Dansco) and what is the difference in this and what others are doing with coins. I personally like to see my chips and right now most of them are loose in a casino chip case so I can see them when I want to and compare them with others. In due time, I would like to get them all into air tights (so I can still see them) and make sure I can keep them longer.
Not so much devil as you might think. However grading and slabbing is far from flips, air-tites or books. Not to be as disagreeable as it seems (because I just speak my mind and don't take any of this personally) here's how I keep most of my collection and the traders. Exception is Elko and Wisconsin which each gets a nice clear half of a 2x2 and is in a Dansco album.
Nevada $1 are left, two boxes of WI traders middle and some assorted non-casino use, NCV, free play tokens, and casino related items, including another one I like, lucky cents. I have bankers boxes with 6-7 of these in each. That's what holds the majority of my collection. These little clear plastic boxes are my favorite storage. Nice, I can see what's inside them as well.
A little more of my disenchantment, stamps, I collected for years as a kid. I went to sell my collection to buy a guitar, dealer offered me $35. I said, wait, there are stamps in there that you sold me for more than that? Went to another, same deal. I took the money. Now I buy US stamps from dealers getting rid of stock, plate blocks, mint pages, for under face. They manipulated the market and had sheets and sheets on file, creative rarity. The Internet ended that.
Coins, close to what you mentioned about Z chips. I might agree if that's what I collected and in fact if I only collect MS-65-70 coins, sure I'd want them certified and encased. Here's another one of those age things. When I collected coins, from circulation as well as from dealers when I had some hole to fill, the grades were pretty much, good, very good, fine, very fine, extremely fine, about uncirculated and uncirculated/mint state. Not sure if I remember that all right, but lets say seven grades. Now we have + and numbers and toning and anything else that can make a coin somehow worth more than just plain, it's a nice VF condition coin.
Coin actions and the Internet are fantastic, brought old coins out, raised some values, showed that others were more common than the price guides indicated. Enter slabbing and you can bid online without seeing the coin and be pretty sure you will get what you paid for. Very Nice! Grades from 1-70 and then some.
When the first people suggested a similar grading system for chips, I was one of the loud voices against, maybe too critical to be fair, that we don't need 70 grades. I still think chips can get by fine with about seven. Besides that, most of the value in most chips isn't the grade but the rarity. Some chips I'd like for my collection, I'd just like to find one. And the chips that dealers or friends picked up off the tables are culled for the best. Chips are pretty durable, especially the newer chips. I'm just adding that with slabbing will come higher levels of grading, higher prices and do we really need all that for little composite or plastic discs?
Of course if my goal was selling and profit, of course this is what we need. First let me load up on some rare chips so I can make more on chips than Bitcoin...