Today’s modern casinos are filled with glitz, glam, and all things flashy, but this wasn’t always the case. Although the casinos and saloons of old were definitely built with a certain sense of “style” in mind, you’ll notice a marked difference between a roulette table from the 1920s versus a roulette table in any of the hotels along the modern day Vegas Strip.
Behold, exhibit A (Antique French Table Top Roulette Wheel, from the early 20th c):
And exhibit B (A 21st century roulette table from one of Vegas’ many hotels)
Although the gambling tables of yesteryear are certainly out of date nowadays, antique casino games are still treasured by collectors, hobbyists, and people hoping to “win big” by selling refurbished tables once considered junk.
If you fall into any of these categories, your next question is probably “where can I buy my own?”
The first place to start, is at your local antique store(s). Not all shops will have what you’re looking for, but do some hunting and you just might find exactly what you want at a winning price. Further, don’t if you don’t see any gambling tables in the front store, be sure to ask the owner before leaving disappointed. Due to the size and nature of these pieces, there’s a good chance that they’ll be kept in a rear store room.
Auctions—specifically antique auctions are a great place to find niche items. Best of all, since they’re usually made up of a wide variety of shop owners and individual sellers you’ll find a nice variety of goods. As well, prices are not set in stone so you have the option of only paying as much as you want to.
In general, anything you can’t find for sale in person, you can find for sale online. The only issue is that e-retailers will often drive up costs and shipping fees for profit. That, and you don’t have the ability to barter in-person.
Once you find the antique gambling table of your dreams, you basically have two options: you can sell it, or you can display it. In either case, you might also want to consider restoring it. Not only will this make your table more attractive, but from a sales perspective, it will without a doubt spike the value of your piece (as long as you use a reliable antiques restorer).
One of our favourites is The Conservation Centre. Just take a look at this beautifully restored gaming table post-treatment:
Regardless of what its owners plan on doing with it, I think it’s safe to call this one a big win!