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Buying an Antique Slot Machine

If you’re a gambling fan like I am, I bet nothing would please you more than having a real piece of gambling history right in your own home.  I recently decided that I was going to treat myself to a an antique slot machine.  I’ve had an eye on one of these for ages, and recently windfall at one of my favorite Vegas slot machines got me thinking that now is the time to honor this great game and buy one for my living room.

Before I went online to buy the first machine I could find, I did a little reading up to find out the different antique slot machines out there.  I soon discovered that there are a number of companies that created these slot machines, beginning at the turn of the 20th Century. Bally Technologies, for example, started creating gaming  machines in 1925, although they initially created pinball machines. Today, Bally is one of the biggest names in the business, having created over 350,000 slot machines to date. The Bally Baby was their first slot machine and measured only 5 x 7 inches.  These were the guys who also created the world’s first touch screen video slot machine, so they definitely know what they’re doing.

Mills, on the other hand, created The Owl in 1897, which was a coin operated roulette style slot machine.  The machine was so popular, that it pushed Mills’ business to incredible dimensions and allowed the company to go on to create 13 more coin operated games. The Operator Bell was created by Mills in 1910. The company gained market domination by acquiring Charles Fey’s designs of the Liberty Bell, and – as a reminder – Fey was the guy who is credited with creating the first slot machine in the world.

Before you buy an antique slot machine, don’t forget to do the following:

  • Check the history of the different manufacturers out there.  If nothing else, it makes for fascinating reading.
  • Check out the laws governing the ownership of slot machines in your state or country.
  • Check out the seller’s reputation.  Is it a licensed dealer? Can you check their credentials?

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