Where to find coin-operated slots in Las Vegas

Modernity is certainly alive and well in Las Vegas, with video slot machines, giant LED screens, the MSG Sphere and ultra-new super resorts all now serving the Sin City spectacle.

However, for many, all that is perhaps not quite the image they muster when thinking of Las Vegas. Certainly, when I first went there I had visions of rows and rows of mechanical three-reel slot machines, all operated in satisfying union by a lever and someone clutching a large cup full of jangling coins.

If you believe the movies, that is what Vegas gambling is.

The truth is, though, that those days are gone now. Your gambling trip won’t be punctuated by the sound of coins gushing from a slot machine to excited cheers. It just doesn’t happen anymore. Or does it?

Well, it still can happen. You just have to know where to look. So, with that in mind, here is a quick rundown of which Las Vegas casinos still have coin-operated slots.

ALSO READ: Las Vegas Gambling Guide for first time visitors

Circus Circus

Circus Circus Las Vegas Hotels - a long-established casino but an acquired taste?

Yes, that’s right, if there is one thing we can rely upon in Las Vegas, it is Circus Circus doggedly clinging onto the past. That might sound like a disparaging remark, but it is meant in total reverence to the property and its personality.

After all, Vegas has enough super resorts now that are all shiny and clean. Character is becoming a little harder to find.

And Circus Circus, for all its faults, has it in spades. The place hasn’t just hung onto its old ways, it has actually made a specific effort to bring them back.

This year, they completely revamped the Slots A Fun area. If you haven’t been, Slots A Fun is something of a mini-casino on the doorstep of Circus Circus.

It didn’t evolve the space, though, it devolved it if anything and installed 75 coin-operated slot machines – and immediately made it the go-to place in Las Vegas, and the only place on the Las Vegas Strip, for old-school gambling.

El Cortez

El Cortez Las Vegas hotels

El Cortez is not quite my favourite Downtown Las Vegas property, but I really, really want it to be.

It’s absolutely jam-packed full of vintage Vegas vibes, all the way down to Elvis playing on speakers outside the lobby doors and the grand staircase inside.

Of course, it has had to come forward into the 20th century and nowadays its casino is comparable to any other in terms of modern games, and yet it has still remained faithful to its roots by keeping a few dozen coin-operated machines in working condition.

The California

California Las Vegas hotels

Ah The California, or the Cal if you love it enough. I am not entirely sure I hold it in quite enough regard to be on pet-name terms with the place, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.

It boasts some of the very best neon you will find anywhere in Las Vegas, and that is still important. The place is also in a nice location: Downtown, but far enough away from the Fremont Experience to avoid the noise yet close enough to be among it in just a couple of minutes.

There aren’t many coin-operated slot machines at The California, but it has a few to enjoy – and plenty of people do.

The D

Despite having a whole vintage slots area in the casino, The D only actually has one coin-operated machine. However, it is definitely the most famous one in Las Vegas.

Sigma Derby is almost the stuff a legend. It’s a horseracing simulator that sees model horses on sticks jerk and jolt their way around well-worn grooves with players able to bet on the winner.

Most casinos have a modern comparable machine, but there is only one Sigma Derby.

One note of caution though is that while you can look at it at your leisure at The D, playing it is far from guaranteed. The machine is so old that they do not manufacture replacement parts for it anymore, meaning it can be down for maintenance for long periods of time.

Play it while you can, I say.

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Michael Graham
Michael Graham
Michael Graham is a journalist with more than a decade of industry experience. He has a love for all things Las Vegas.

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