The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published August 30, 2015 Updated March 01, 2023

Gemaco

‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for the Princess Cruises Casino.

1990 USA Gemaco Casino Add to Collection

Gemaco Playing Card Co.

Formerly ‘Gemaco’ playing cards were manufactured by The George C. Matteson Co. Inc, Independence, Missouri. The business was acquired in 2014 by Gaming Partners International, who now offer five lines of casino quality playing cards, including Gemaco and Paulson brands.

‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for the Princess Cruises Casino

Above: ‘Gemaco’ playing cards custom-produced for the Princess Cruises Casino (on board ship one assumes). The courts include the logo of the Princess cruise line, which is rather unusual. The jokers were discarded when the deck was opened for play, as they were not required, and as such don't often survive. Images courtesy Matt Probert.

GPI manufactures and supplies equipment to licensed casinos under the brand names of Paulson®, Bourgogne et Grasset® and Bud Jones®.


At a certain point, cards are no longer in their preferred "mint" or nearly new condition. Casinos look to sell these used decks of cards to the general public, but before doing so they'll either burn the corners of the cards or puncture a tiny hole through them in order to prevent cheating. The cards being sold to the public look identical to the ones being used on the casino floor, so a tiny hole or a burnt corner will prevent any confusion between the cards sold to the public and the newer cards still being used at the casino.

‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for Hooters Casino Las Vegas, c.2000

Above: cancelled ‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for Hooters Casino Las Vegas, c.2000. The "Sentinel Security Series" face features a large letter/numeral in the index coupled with a slightly reduced centre configuration for maximum readability. This design was registered in mid-1999.

‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for the Paradise Island Resort and Casino

Above: hole-punched ‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for the Paradise Island Resort and Casino by The George C. Matteson Company.

‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for Peppermill Hotel Casino

Above: ‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for Peppermill Hotel Casino with a special custom ace of spades, which have been cancelled by marking the edges with red dye. Designed and manufactured by The George C. Matteson Company, 1990.

‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for Powerturbine

Above: ‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for Powerturbine.

‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for Ocean Players Club

Above: ‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for Ocean Players Club, aka Carnival Corporation the cruise liner conglomerate that owns Carnival, Cunard, P&O Cruises, Holland America Line etc. Image courtesy Matt Probert.

‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for the First State Bank of Shannon

Above: ‘Gemaco’ playing cards produced for the First State Bank of Shannon.

Gemaco Presidential playing cards produced for Rolls Royce

Above: double deck of Gemaco Presidential playing cards produced for Rolls Royce, supplied in a black hard plastic tray box with clear lid. Image courtesy Matt Probert.

IBM Linux One playing cards produced by Gemaco, c.2018

Above: IBM Linux One playing cards produced by Gemaco, c.2018. From the collection of Marc Pavone.

avatar
308 Articles

By Matt Probert

Member since March 02, 2012

I have adored playing cards since before I was seven years old, and was brought up on packs of Waddington's No 1. As a child I was fascinated by the pictures of the court cards.

Over the next fifty years I was seduced by the artwork in Piatnik's packs and became a collector of playing cards.

Seeking more information about various unidentified packs I discovered the World of Playing Cards website and became an enthusiastic contributor researching and documenting different packs of cards.

I describe my self as a playing card archaeologist, using detective work to identify and date obscure packs of cards discovered in old houses, flea markets and car boot sales.

1 comments

Nathan Beveridge's Avatar'

Hey my friend, I enjoyed the read.
I am a Beatles memorabilia collector and have a question on a set of playing cards that was supposedly licensed and manufactured by GEMACO.
On the back of this deck it has a famous black and white image of the Beatles posed around Ringo's drum set. For years it has just been thought of as a rogue/fantasy/unlicensed item.
Seeing here that GEMACO founded in 1965 and the deck being put out that same year leads me to think that this is not an authentic item.
Does this deck sound familiar? A quick Google search with search words ~ Beatles GEMACO playing cards ~ will pop up the image. If there is anything you can tell me or point me to it would be greatly appreciated.
..... or if someone counterfeited the GEMACO name.
Thank you


Leave a Reply


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

1994 Music playing cards

Music playing cards

Portraits of 13 classical music composers.

1982 Star Trek II • The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek II • The Wrath of Khan

This deck is a vibrant photographic tribute to "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," one of the most be...

1992 Norfin® Trolls

Norfin® Trolls

Troll dolls with gaudy hairstyles in a multitude of different costumes.

2002 Impressionist Art Cards

Impressionist Art Cards

Details of 13 paintings by 8 different Impressionist artists on elongated cards.

2003 Safety playing cards

Safety playing cards

Safety playing cards designed to reinforce the “Think and Be Safe” concept.

2016 Politicards 2016 & Politikids 2016

Politicards 2016 & Politikids 2016

Politicards™ 2016 & Politikids 2016: twin decks of satirical playing cards produced by Peter Green f...

2004 K Deck

K Deck

“K Deck” political playing cards, USA, c. 2004.

2016 Tuxedo playing cards

Tuxedo playing cards

Stylish ‘Tuxedo’ playing cards with animal faces created by Natalia Silva, USA, 2016.

2003 The Deck of Hillary

The Deck of Hillary

‘The Deck of Hillary’ with quotes and photographs of Hillary Clinton, USA, 2003.

2005 Shakespeare playing cards: Insults

Shakespeare playing cards: Insults

Shakespeare Insults playing cards with portraits by Jan Padover, USA, 2005.

2004 Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes

Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes

Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes, the first volume of a double set published by Prospero Art of San...

2012 Old Testament playing cards

Old Testament playing cards

Old Testament playing cards with illustrations by Jan Padover, USA, 2012.

2008 Politicards 2008

Politicards 2008

Politicards ’08 with caricatures cast as characters from classic movies, USA.

2003 Starz behind bars

Starz behind bars

Starz behind bars playing cards with mug shots of the rich and famous under arrest, USA, 2003.

2003 House of Cards: Deck of Bush

House of Cards: Deck of Bush

House of Cards: Deck of Bush playing cards presenting reasons not to re-elect President Bush for a s...

Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort whiskey playing cards, USA.

2011 Holy Trinity Church playing cards

Holy Trinity Church playing cards

Holy Trinity Church commemoration playing cards, USA, 2011.

1992 Batman® playing cards

Batman® playing cards

Characters from Batman: The Animated Series on a pack issued in 1992.

2010 FDR New Deal Deck

FDR New Deal Deck

Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.

2008 Gay / Really straight Republican hypocrites

Gay / Really straight Republican hypocrites

Gay / Really straight Republican hypocrites, USA, 2008

2008 Politically Wild John McCain

Politically Wild John McCain

“Politically Wild John McCain” published by Newt’s Playing Cards, USA, 2008.

Mohegan Sun playing cards

Mohegan Sun playing cards

Mohegan Sun playing cards published by Gemaco for Mohegan Sun casino.

1970 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! playing cards

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! playing cards

Strange facts from Robert Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ books, in the form of cartoons.

2020 Undressed deck

Undressed deck

Undressed deck created by Edi Rudo and Néro Catineau, USA, 2020.

Fate fortune telling cards

Fate fortune telling cards

Fate fortune telling cards published by Merrimack Publishing Corporation, USA.

2004 Politicards 2004

Politicards 2004

Politicards 2004 with satirical cartoons by the award-winning illustrator Peter Green, USA.

1972 Politicards 1971

Politicards 1971

Politicards 1971 for the presidential election in which Richard Nixon won a landslide victory.

1996 Politicards 1996

Politicards 1996

Politicards ’96 with satirical caricatures on every card by Peter Green, USA.

1984 Politicards 1984

Politicards 1984

Politicards 1984 with caricatures by Donald Gates, published by the Kamber Group, USA.

1980 Politicards 1980

Politicards 1980

Politicards 1980 in which Ronald Reagan defeated the incumbent Jimmy Carter, with caricatures by Kei...

1981 Card Tricks

Card Tricks

Stereotypical representations of gay men and men they most admire, in a 1981 pack from San Francisco...

1974 Royal flash playing cards

Royal flash playing cards

Royal flash playing cards with non-standard suits, USA, 1974.

1975 Ms. playing cards

Ms. playing cards

‘Ms. playing cards’ promoting votes for women, USA, 1975.

1986 Old Met playing cards

Old Met playing cards

Old Met playing cards published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, USA, 1986.

2016 Don Quixote playing cards

Don Quixote playing cards

Don Quixote playing cards designed by Nam Tibon, USA, 2016.

2017 Calaveras De Azúcar

Calaveras De Azúcar

Calaveras De Azúcar playing cards produced by Natalia Silva, USA, 2017.

52 Ways to talk about adoption

52 Ways to talk about adoption

‘52 Ways to talk about adoption’ family-centred playing cards produced by the Center for Adoption Su...

2017 Russian folk art playing cards

Russian folk art playing cards

Russian folk art playing cards produced by Natalia Silva, USA, 2017.

2016 Trump playing cards

Trump playing cards

Trump playing cards produced by the Godesky brothers, USA, 2016.

1967 Winstanley Geographical cards

Winstanley Geographical cards

Facsimile of Winstanley’s Geographical cards produced by Harold & Virginia Wayland, 1967.