Any old school one-armed bandits in Las Vegas?
August 8, 2022 1:27 PM   Subscribe

VegasFilter: Is there a retro-casino which has working, mechanical slot machines? Their contemporary video/LED incarnations are bewildering and off-putting.
posted by Rash to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Circus Circus. The D has mechanical horse racing.
posted by zepheria at 1:34 PM on August 8, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: per Vital Vegas in fall of 2021, also the El Cortez and California downtown.
posted by zepheria at 1:40 PM on August 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

As a Vegas resident, I would definitely say the El Cortez. Perhaps some of the more vintage casinos downtown may still have some, but you might also consider some spots in Boulder City or old downtown Henderson/the Water Street district. They tend to hang on to their history a bit more.

To add to the previous MeFite's comment, the California is officially called "California Hotel and Casino", but locally, it's often referred to as "The Californian". (Grab a fantastic Hawai'ian meal while you're there... it's some of the most authentic stuff outside of Hawai'i, if you're into that kind of cuisine!)
posted by chatelaine at 3:26 PM on August 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

I loved "one-arm bandits". To me nothing is so disappointing as going to a casino and finding only electronics. Whose idea was that?
posted by Cranberry at 1:23 AM on August 9, 2022

Whose idea was that?

That would be Inge S. Telnaes, the Norwegian mathematician that developed the idea of "virtual reels".

The concept allowed for much higher payouts on slot machines because it overcame the physical limitations of the old-style mechanical slot. But it required the insides to be replaced with a computer and electronically-driven wheels to create the effect.

The Telnaes patent transformed the slot machine from a diversion offered to non-gamblers into a core revenue generator for Vegas casinos.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:45 AM on August 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: As one who observed this development over time, it seems like the Video Poker machines were an intermediate step, but they merged with the slots some time ago, evolving into the noisy, garish behemoths occupying the casino floors (and airport terminals!) today.

Next time looks like I have to get back to Fremont Street for the Californian and El Cortez; or Circus Circus (which I was planning to visit but the hotel desk suggested avoiding unless I wanted to be surrounded by ten-year-olds).
posted by Rash at 8:58 AM on August 9, 2022

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