How And Where To Buy A Real Slot Machine

How And Where To Buy A Real Slot Machine

Want to play Wheel of Fortune without leaving the house? It might finally be time to buy your own slot machine. It’s not always possible to be at the casino, but you can bring some of the glamour home with you.

Slot machines are having a bit of a moment. Retro chic has never been cooler and, just like arcade games and vintage jukeboxes, they make a great centerpiece and talking point, as well as a unique addition to your games room.

Other benefits of buying your own slot machine include endless gaming any time you feel like it, and the chance to get your skills up to scratch before your next casino vacation. And the best bit? It’s essentially free to play and the only person who’ll bag your bucks at the end of the day is you.

Here’s everything you need to know before you take the plunge…

Where You Can Buy a Real Slot Machine

If you want to find slot machines for sale, the internet is your oyster. But the best places to buy a real slot machine are dedicated and reputable retailers, distributors and manufacturers — people that know their stuff — either online, in a shop, or both!

It all depends where you’re based: if you happen to be passing Las Vegas, and prefer to see your purchases up close, it could be worth doing the rounds at local pawn shops to dig out vintage casino gems.

But don’t worry if you’re not within driving distance of Sin City, there are also plenty of online options, and you can also scour websites that deal in pre-loved and second-hand goods.

Image: Unsplash/dear

To get started, visit a retailer like Slot Machines Unlimited, a well-known slot machine dealer and wholesaler based in the US. The family-run business sells used machines that are refurbished to order, and are exclusively for home entertainment purposes. You can find big names here like Bally and Konami, but they don’t come cheap — you can expect to fork out around $1,000 for one.

If you want to go straight to the source and have the dollar to afford a brand-new machine, you could try going directly to a slot provider.

Be aware that some may only deal with casinos directly, rather than individual orders. At the very least, researching these companies and their offerings may help you decide what you’re looking for.

If you don’t want to spend that much on your personal slot machine, there are other avenues, too.

A quick search will reveal slot machines for sale on eBay, as well as on consumer-to-consumer sites like Craigslist, for varying but sometimes discounted prices. Just watch out for the weird items on Craigslist in your search…

You can also find an array of instant-buy options on Amazon, or even Etsy — but beware that these are usually likely to be smaller replica or toy slots, rather than the real deal! If the price seems too good to be true, it is.

Online vs Auctions

So, is it better to buy online or at auction? Through a retailer or an individual seller? The choice is yours.

The difference is usually about one thing: money.

With a company you’ll pay a premium, but benefit from a fixed price, a guarantee and a receipt.

Buying through an auction website like eBay or an individual could see costs change due to demand, goods that don’t live up to expectation or price tag, and a longer wait for the product you want to become available.

As always, with any big purchase, remember to factor in any shipping costs and make sure you know the condition of the machine and trust the seller.

Things To Consider When Buying A Real Slot Machine

We know it’s more appealing to focus on the fun parts, but consider these points before your purchase:

  • Size matters —real slot machines aren’t small.
    Make sure you have enough space to give a ‘Big Bertha’ a good home, and also think about whether you’ll be able to receive delivery easily through your doors, corridors, stairs or elevator.
  • Where will you put it?
    Consider whether you’ll keep it in the garage or the house, or in a communal space or a private room if you don’t want to introduce younger family members to gambling. As your machine may be expensive, safety and practicality may have to come before interior design.
  • How much does it cost to buy a slot machine?
    Think about your budget — what’s the maximum you’re willing to spend? Don’t forget to factor in those delivery costs, too, and any extra refurbishments you may need. 
  • Are you ready to make repairs if you need to?
    As your slots will likely be second-hand, you’ll have to be prepared for a machine that’s not in mint condition. If refurbishment isn’t part of the deal, can you or someone you known install and repair it?                                                              

Choosing Your Slot Machine

Slot machines come in all shapes and sizes. Think about what games you usually enjoy at the casino, whether you prefer vintage, antique and collectors’ items, or whether you want a brand-new, shiny toy.

It may also come down to the style of your home, whether your decor has a classic feel or you’re all about new technology.

There are pros and cons for both. If you think they don’t make them like they used to, then a classic one-armed bandit may be the machine for you. Just be aware that if you buy a single-coin machine it won’t accept bills. On the plus side, your credits will last longer.

Image: Unsplash/NathanaReboucas

If it’s greater variety you’re after and something with all the bells and whistles, opt for a five-reel video slot machine or touch-screen technology instead.

Either way, make sure you get some paperwork with your purchase, especially if your machine is an antique.

The Legal Bit: The States Where You Are Allowed to Buy Slot Machines

In the US, shopping for a slot machine can be more complicated than expected. It largely depends on the state you are in, as a lot of states have control boards and regulations to monitor gaming.

Nevada is unsurprisingly one of the ‘easiest’ states to buy and own a machine in, whether it’s for public or private use.

There are no restrictions on private ownership in the following states. You can buy and own a slot machine in:

  • ✅Alaska
  • ✅Arizona
  • ✅Arkansas
  • ✅Kentucky
  • ✅Maine
  • ✅Minnesota
  • ✅Nevada
  • ✅Ohio
  • ✅Rhode Island
  • ✅Texas
  • ✅Utah
  • ✅Virginia
  • ✅West Virginia

These are the states in which private ownership of slot machines is completely banned:

  • ❌Connecticut
  • ❌Hawaii
  • ❌Nebraska
  • ❌South Carolina
  • ❌Tennesse

Other states, such as Washington and California, have age restrictions on ownership. However, it’s always best to double check as laws are fluid.  

If you don’t have the space or money for your own machine, why not play some of the best online slots instead?