The Betsafe Slot Machine Restoration Project
Betsafe Canada has recently announced it will be finding and restoring classic slot machines.
Today, the Emerging Markets team behind Betsafe Canada, launched their latest project. The team aims to find and collect old and disused mechanical slot machines from the past one hundred years and restore them to their former glory. Throughout the project, the Betsafe team will need to fully repair any parts and will be posting their progress in the form of blog posts and YouTube videos.
Mechanical slot machines were the original way to play slots and first appeared in 1885. The very first slot machine was known as the Liberty Bell and was created by Charles Fey, a car mechanic from San Francisco. Although you might have played slots at betsafe.com, the original mechanical slots were quite different from modern games.
With the Liberty Bell machine, you had to insert a coin and pull a lever to spin the three reels. Each reel contained various painted symbols such as hearts, spades, diamonds, clubs, and the Liberty Bell itself. Just as with modern slots, players needed to match symbols to get a win, and the Liberty Bell was the highest paying symbol. Three bells would award players with a win of fifty cents or ten nickels, which was paid out by the owner of the machine.
Over the years, these machines became commonplace across North America, and they soon spread to Europe too. Initially, they could be found at bars and restaurants, but they soon started appearing at casinos too. As the popularity of slot machines grew, the technology behind them became more complex, and they started to include new reels, rows, and symbols. Over time, mechanical slots began to be phased out as electronic components allowed for better games that were also easier to produce.
Today, most casinos only feature modern video slots where each spin is determined by a computer rather than a physical mechanism. Mechanical slots are hard to find as a result, but they are incredibly interesting machines that have become highly sought after by collectors. For Betsafe’s first restoration project, they found a Beromat B mechanical slot machine from the 50s.
The Beromat B Mechanical Slot
The Beromat B is a European produced slot machine that first started being manufactured in the 50s. Created by Wulff Apparatebau, a German coin-operated machine manufacturer, the device was incredibly popular across Europe, where it could be found in cafes, bars and restaurants. It operated without power, simply needing the player to insert a coin and pull the lever to start the three-reel mechanism turning.
Betsafe picked up the Beromat B from Central Europe and brought it back to the studio to examine it properly. The first stage of the restoration process involved taking it apart piece by piece to learn how it worked and see which pieces, if any, needed to be repaired or replaced.
“What amazes me about these mechanical machines is not only the craftsmanship that went into them, but also the fact that they don’t require any electricity to work. Just look at the disassembly; it is fascinating how simple yet effective the whole machine was built,” comments Mattia B., Head of Marketing for Emerging Markets.
Once the machine had been disassembled, the team created an infographic to give detailed information about fifteen of the most important parts. They could then begin the final stage of the project, whereby they would be completely restoring the internal and external parts of the machine. The hardest part for sure will be replacing the broken three-wheeled reel mechanism as they cannot simply order a new part from the manufacturer.