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Slot Machines

The first mechanical slot machine was invented in 1894 by Charles Fey, a car mechanic from San Francisco, California. He made a revised version in 1898. Called the Liberty Bell, it had three spinning reels that were painted with diamond, space and heart symbols, as well as three Liberty Bells. A spin of three Liberty Bells gave the player the highest payout, which totaled fifty cents.

Demand was popular and Fey could not keep up with the demand for the machines. He refused to sell manufacturing rights to his slot machines, so other companies began producing knock offs. By 1908, slot machines could be found in saloons, cigar stores, bowling alleys, barber shops, and brothels. Some slot machines paid out in food or gum to circumvent anti-gambling laws.

The first electronic slot machine was produced by the Bally Company in 1963. Called Money Honey, it had a bottomless hopper and could pay out up to 500 coins without an attendant. The first video slot machine was invented in 1976 in Kearny Mesa, California by the Fortune Coin Company. Collectors of slot machines are attracted to the vintage mechanical slot machines with their elaborate designs. Machines in excellent condition are worth the highest prices.


Quick Facts

  • Only about 100 Liberty Bell slot machines were produced by Charles Fey. His descendents owned and operated a saloon and museum in Reno, Nevada, displaying the original Liberty Bell slot machine until 2006
  • Vintage slot machines from the 1930s and 1940s consistently sell for $2,000-3,000
  • Bally's Money Honey slot machine is often referred to as the "machine that changed Vegas". The coin hopper that allowed the machine to offer huge payouts made slot machine gambling extremely popular

Recommended Items at Auction

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25 cent Bally Reliance Countertop Dice Slot Machine
Mar 09, 9:00 AM PST
25 cent Bally Reliance Countertop Dice Slot Machine
by Abell Auction
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$7503 Bids
1¢ Scoopy Mfg. Co. 3 Product Vending Machine
Mar 09, 9:00 AM PST
1¢ Scoopy Mfg. Co. 3 Product Vending Machine
by Abell Auction
Est: $700- $1,000
$4002 Bids
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VIntage Carousel Gumball Machine
Mar 10, 1:00 PM PST
VIntage Carousel Gumball Machine
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $50- $100
$51 Bid
Coin Operated Gum Ball Vending Machine
Mar 09, 10:00 AM MST
Coin Operated Gum Ball Vending Machine
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Vintage Sticker Coin-op Machine, Garbage Pail Kids
Mar 09, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Sticker Coin-op Machine, Garbage Pail Kids
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Standing Slot Machine
Mar 07, 10:00 AM PST
Standing Slot Machine
by Abell Auction
Est: $500- $700
$3001 Bid
Musical Cabinet Upright Slot Machine
Mar 09, 9:00 AM PST
Musical Cabinet Upright Slot Machine
by Abell Auction
Est: $7,000- $10,000
$3,5001 Bid
(2) Coin-op Gumball Machines On Double Stand
Mar 09, 10:00 AM MST
(2) Coin-op Gumball Machines On Double Stand
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
ALCO FILM VENDING MACHINE, KODAK & ANSCO FILMS
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
ALCO FILM VENDING MACHINE, KODAK & ANSCO FILMS
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $250
$1000 Bids
Lot of 2 Wall Mount Coin-Operated Gum Dispensers. Including...
Mar 28, 10:00 AM CDT
Lot of 2 Wall Mount Coin-Operated Gum Dispensers. Including...
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
1977 Star explorer Pinball Machine by Phillips With original Legs LOCAL PICKUP ONLY
Mar 21, 9:00 AM EDT
1977 Star explorer Pinball Machine by Phillips With original Legs LOCAL PICKUP ONLY
by Figlio Designs LLC
Est: $100- $200
$1400 Bids
Antique 5 cent Mills Novelty Co Bursting Cherries slot machine
Mar 16, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique 5 cent Mills Novelty Co Bursting Cherries slot machine
by King Galleries
Est: $900- $1,400
$8000 Bids
Antique Mills War Eagle 10 cent slot machine
Mar 16, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Mills War Eagle 10 cent slot machine
by King Galleries
Est: $900- $1,400
$8000 Bids
5 cent Mills Front Vens Vender Slot Machine
Mar 09, 9:00 AM PST
5 cent Mills Front Vens Vender Slot Machine
by Abell Auction
Est: $600- $800
$3500 Bids
KODAK 127 FILM COIN OPERATED VENDING MACHINE
Apr 12, 10:00 AM CDT
KODAK 127 FILM COIN OPERATED VENDING MACHINE
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
5 Cent Baker's Pacers Console Slot Machine
Mar 09, 9:00 AM PST
5 Cent Baker's Pacers Console Slot Machine
by Abell Auction
Est: $6,000- $8,000
$3,0000 Bids
Vintage Stop V.D. Coin Operated Condom Dispenser
Mar 17, 10:00 AM CDT
Vintage Stop V.D. Coin Operated Condom Dispenser
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $50- $150
$250 Bids
Vintage Toy & Joy Coin-op Gumball Machine
Mar 09, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Toy & Joy Coin-op Gumball Machine
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Mills Castle Front 5 Cent Slot Machine
Mar 09, 9:00 AM PST
Mills Castle Front 5 Cent Slot Machine
by Abell Auction
Est: $700- $1,000
$3500 Bids
Watling Rol-A-Top Checkerboard Slot Machine
Mar 09, 9:00 AM PST
Watling Rol-A-Top Checkerboard Slot Machine
by Abell Auction
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Slot Machines


Abell Auction

Abell Auction

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd