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Best of John Robison

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Ask the Slot Expert: What do casinos do with old slot machines?

21 December 2011

Hi John,

I was watching a TV program called Auction Hunters where the guys acquired a Saturday Night Fever pinball machine made by a company named Williams. Someone on the program said that the company was no longer in business. But I remember reading that the WMS slot makers started out in arcade games. Could this possibly be one of their machines?

Also, what do casinos do with old slot games and how would you go about tracking down a particular game?

Thanks.

Yes, WMS Industries does trace its history back to the Williams pinball machine and video game company. According to the company's website, Harry Williams developed the tilt mechanism for pinball machines.

What a casino does when it's finished with a slot machine depends on how it was acquired. If it was placed in the casino by the manufacturer on a participation basis (the casino and the manufacturer split the money won from the machine), the casino just asks the manufacturer to remove the machine. If the casino leased the machine, it asks the leasing company to take back the machine at the end of the lease. If a casino bought the machine, it sells it to a slot distributor or wholesaler.

If you want to find a particular machine, just search for a used version of the machine on the Internet. Note that almost every state restricts private ownership of slot machines. You can find the restrictions for your state by searching on the Internet.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots