Antique Slot Machine Sales & Repair

Antique Watling Slot Machines

Antique Slot Machine Sales & RepairFor 28 years, Watling Manufacturing Company dominated the market as one of the three great manufacturers of coin operated slot machines. Mr. Tom Watling, founder of the Watling Manufacturing Company, was granted his first patent in April of 1936 for the now-famous ROL-A-TOP design. Vintage slot machines such as these are collectible only through antique dealers. The Watling Company produced some of the best and most unusual slot machines available at the time. Such features like double arrow action created extra security measures, and the mechanisms that make up the machines are meticulously crafted with fine detail using custom tools.

Tom Watling, among a few others, began by selling these coin operated gambling machines disguised as gum dispensers when gambling was declared illegal in most of California and Nevada. Tokens were given in return for free plays on the slot machine and if you managed to line up the jackpot, you would win money. Along with the other manufacturers, Watling began to sell slot machines to every major casino in Vegas after gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. In all of the America’s casinos at the time, slots were played primarily by women while their husbands sat at tables to play poker.

Almost never seen without a cigar in his mouth and a silver pocketwatch, Tom Watling and five of his sons ran the Watling Manufacturing Company since 1902 when Watling bought D.N. Schall and Company, who he was employed by at the time. Watling’s purchase created a significant challenge to the other manufacturers of the era, especially to C.H. Miles who had joined with Schall. Watling and his slot machines were constantly featured in Coin Machine Journal over the years and his games are now considered to be among the top collectibles by antique dealers. Reviews of the machines were always positive and some of the antique machines have an estimated value of over $30,000 depending on the condition of the slot machine, and sometimes even more if the antique is in mint condition.

The Watling Manufacturing Company produced some of the most famous coin operated slot machines such as the Jackpot Blue Seal, Jackpot Gum Vendor, Rol-A-Top Bell Coin Front Model, Baby Gold Award Bell Twin Jackpot, and the Famous Owl – which was created in 1902. Even in photos of the early models, you can view the fine detail and craftsmanship that every Watling antique slot machine offers. As Watling is so well renowned for his attention to detail, slot machine collectors will immediately recognize the trademark style of his more famous machines. Most notably, the “coin front” models depict an outpouring of gold coins, which seems to imply there is a Jackpot at the end of every pull of the one armed bandit. This particular collectible has a round glass coin chamber which allows the management to view the last coins to be dropped into the machine, so as to discourage the use of slugs instead of real coins. Features like this made Watling’s slot machines the highly renowned collectible antiques that they are today.





Slot machines include a currency detector that validates the coin or money inserted to play. The machine pays off based on patterns of symbols visible on the front of the machine when it stops. Modern computer technology has resulted in many variations on the slot machine concept. Slot machines are the most popular gambling method in casinos and constitute about 70 percent of the average casinos income. It is estimated that thirty percent or more of the profits from gambling machines come from problem gamblers.