Antique Slot Machine – An Overview

Antique Slot Machines

There are collectors for everything, why not for slot machines? No, we’re not being facetious. In fact, slot machines make extremely interesting pieces because they are both decorative and functional. That’s right! An antique slot machine in mint condition or even in fine condition will most assuredly work. Of course, you’ll have to use quarters instead of nickels, but that no major hardship.

Who buys them? You don’t have to be a slot machine connoisseur to like the look an antique slot machine. In fact, many buyers are businessmen who are either interested in the history of the device or simply think an antique slot machine might make a nice addition to their office.

Other, more serious collectors have been known to devote entire rooms in their homes’ to slot machines. While they may call them game or billiard rooms, the slot machine is undoubtedly the star attraction.

Lastly, there are slot machine dealers, people who have spent their entire lives tracking down the rarest and most sought after models. While most dealers do indeed turn a small profit, they are normally only collectors at heart as they often have an antique slot machine or two that they would never dream of selling, for any price.

What to look for in an antique slot machine?

To begin with, you must make sure that the machine has been professionally appraised and that it is 100% original. Some dealers may try to avoid showing you documentation (probably because they don’t have it) and if they do, you should head for the nearest exit.

The reason that we are so untrusting is due to the simple fact that there is a lot of fraud in the antique slot machine market. Believe it or not, even reputable dealers will offer reproductions or reconditioned units for sale. While a reproduction is easy enough to spot, a reconditioned or remanufactured unit can be difficult.

What are they? Well, basically, they are slot machines that incorporate some original parts with some new ones. An apt analogy would be dinosaur bones. Yes, dinosaur bones! That is, when they do not have the all the original bones, often they’ll replace them will fakes.

As you might expect, these units are at best over-priced, at worst, blatant (yet undisclosed) thievery. That is why it is essential that buyers demand a certificate of authenticity. Honestly, we’ll say it again…do not purchase an antique machine without a certificate of authenticity!

If you are unfortunate or ill informed enough to purchase a reconditioned or remanufactured unit, in all likelihood you will have just blown a few thousand dollars! Though the unit may be aesthetically appealing and may be the perfect decorative piece for your home, office, or game room, the chances that you will ever recoup your initial investment are slim and none.