Collectible Antique Slot Machines

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You’ve definitely seen the vast number of online casinos around, which only serves to prove the popularity of desktop and mobile casino games. And just like other PC and mobile games, they are continuously being improved for better graphics, themes, and playability, making them more exciting and well worth your time, both in terms of fun, which is what every game should be, but also money, since you can hit a real money jackpot and not just stock up on digital credits.

The strive of casino game makers to stay modern and relevant has also taken them in a conquest of the mobile market, where they often surpass top mobile game makers in popularity. If you don’t believe it, just check out any mobile casino and you’ll see what the fuss is all about; there’s a number of good ones on your first Google results page, and there’s even more at Mobile Casino Safari, in case you didn’t know where to start.

But just as there will always be someone lurking online for a mint Commodore 64, there’ll always be people who completely resist the modern technological advance and appeal to the retro-geek inside by buying old slot machines, the only difference being that antique slots cost a bit more than $50 on Ebay. If you’re such a person, check out this antique slot guide.

antique slot machine

A Bit of History

The first coin operated automatic slot machine was made in San Francisco by Gustav Schultze, and it was called the Horseshoe. The Horseshoe had a two nickel jackpot that you could win by getting the horseshoe symbol and it inspired one Charles Fay, a friend and business partner of Schultze, to make his own replica and later open his slot workshop. Fay created the most popular slot machines of the time, including the now legendary Liberty Bell. Following Fay’s success, other companies joined the market and the slot expansion during which some of the highest valued antique slots of today were made began.

Which to Buy

There are a number of brands whose slots have stood the test of time and survived into the 21 century, but they can be really expensive to buy because most antique slots are only sold if they are still in operation and well-preserved, which makes them very rare indeed. On the plus side, if you decide to buy them you can have a beautiful piece of antiquity that you can still enjoy using. To make sure what your buying is really antique, a good starting point would be to find a slot from the most common slot manufacturers of the early era:

  • Mills;
  • Pace;
  • Jennings
  • Rock-ola;
  • Watling;
  • Caille;
  • Buckley.

The slot model will depend mostly on what you want out of the game itself, but also the design which comes in many styles, from art deco and art nouveau to mid-century modern and beyond. Some slots will just speak to you when you first see them, while others will look like something you would never put in your man-cave. The final choice will be on you.

Also, a word to the wise, if you don’t want to shell out much you can always try finding a restored slot that will have some paint, body work, or mechanism changed, but also a more affordable price-tag.

slot machine

Where to Buy

The first obvious choice would be Ebay, but there’s always the risk to be scammed out of your money with a replica or a faulty machine. That’s why the best thing would be to either research the seller and the slot information or go to well-reputed dealers.

There are a number of sites that can help you in your search. The first would be The Antique Slot Machine Price Guide – a database storing information on slot prices where you can research the serial number, model and authenticity, for a yearly subscription of $139.

You can also check out Slots.Etc, a site made by experienced slot restores that buy and sell slot machines, or visit Chicago Slots, where you can also find information on prices and authenticity as well as buy slots or earn money by tipping them off about a bargain.

Things to Know Before You Buy

If you want to make sure what you’re getting is worth your investment, always get as much information as you can. The info you’ll need to check the price and authenticity is the producer, model, serial number, and original parts of the machine. Every old machine will have a serial number stamped in the casting that you can check online, while reproduction slots won’t have one. You should also ask for detailed photos and check whether everything looks brand new. If it does, there’s a high chance the machine is a replica, despite what the owner says about restoring it.

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