(Topic ID: 67068)

Gottlieb Big Casino - Restore or Wall Art?

By dtown

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 21 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by jrpinball
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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There have been 8 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).


#1 5 years ago

Hi EM Dudes,

My dad currently has a Big Casino which he got from a guy looking to have it fixed. Guy paid a hundred bucks for it out of a barn. Since I do work on pins my dad asked me if I was interested in fixing it. I told him to bring it to his house and I'd check it out. I've never done much on an EM with exception of playfield and switch cleaning.

Well I just looked it over and could immediately tell it's been used as a parts machine. Missing are flipper coils and most of the assembly, bulb holders, one full pop bumper mechanism along with parts from the other three and the complete plunger assembly. Also, do not have legs or playfield glass. The backlglass is pretty bad with major flaking along with some tape repair.

The good is that, other than being dirty, the playfield is pretty nice with no real wear. My dad was thinking about buying from the guy for a hundred bucks and having me fix it up. My dilemma is how much is it worth once fixed and is it worth the investment to buy all the parts needed? Also, are these parts easy to come by?

My idea was to buy it for a hundred bucks or maybe a little less, strip the playfield, clean it and use as wall art. Maybe, I could do something with the backglass as well. Then just ebay the rest.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Give it back to the guy? Valuable enough to fix up? Or sell complete for someone else to fix? Personally, even though I prefer SS pins, I can appreciate an EM if it plays well. From the look of the playfield layout, Big Casino looks like a real pooper and a drain monster. Just doesn't look like much fun to play. Thank you for your time in advance and let me know what you think.

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#2 5 years ago

More pics

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#3 5 years ago

More pics

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#4 5 years ago

Does have a lot of the original paperwork and high score cards. Valuable?

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#5 5 years ago

Unfortunately, Big Casino is one of the less desirable titles from the 60's. All the parts are available (including repro backglasses), but even fully restored, they are a tough sell in the $500-$700 range. With it needing a new backglass, and all the other parts, the cost would exceed the value of the game. It's one of those odd titles where even just the cost of a new backglass tips over the value of the game when done.

It certainly does look very restorable though, with a good starting point cosmetically (other than the backglass). And having all the paperwork intact is a bonus. If that's the lockdown bar that came with the game, it's the wrong style though, and won't work on this game (so would be yet another part to track down).

I think it would come out great, given a full restoration, but it would be a labor of love, rather than of value. If someone had the spare parts on hand, and the only main cost was the backglass, then it could work.

It appears to be too nice to part out though, which is always the quandary.

#6 5 years ago

Restore it... Another saved from the scrap heap...

#7 5 years ago

Restore it for sure!

#8 5 years ago

Clean it and get it running, it doesn't need to be made perfect unless you want to. It'll play nicely without spending lots of money on new shiny bits. Restore it after if you like it.

#9 5 years ago

If the cabinet art work looks as good as the back box art work, go for it. Clean the hell out of it, fix the missing parts. Play it, then decide on buying a new backglass or not. If the owner wants it for nostagia, then it will be well worth the effort of all the work that needs to be done.
Production on this pin started in July 1961 there were 1600 units made. - Have Fun.

#10 5 years ago

I agree with the Canadians above. It doesn't have to be perfect to be enjoyable. If your resourceful you could probably get it up and running for around $100. Then if you like or decide to sell it, you or the new buyer can decide on cosmetic upgrades.

I also agree with Dirtflipper that once you buy that nice backglass your probably in for more than the game is worth. With that said sometimes it's still worthwhile going all in on a game that has personal value to you.

#11 5 years ago

If your buying the pin with the intention of fixing it then selling for a profit forget it. Buying EM's and making money in general is a tough deal.

I never buy a pin with the intention of fixing it and making money from it but rather saving these things from extinction so others may enjoy them in the future.

If you are not into doing the restoration then please pass it along to someone who will. As others have stated, all parts you mentioned are available for that machine.


#12 5 years ago

Clean..fix..play. That playfield looks like it has a nice protective coating of dirt...

#13 5 years ago

This pin is on PinballReviewers wishlist >> http://pinside.com/pinball/archive/big-casino/owners
If you dont want it someone else would.

#14 5 years ago

save it from the junk yard

3 months later
#15 5 years ago

i would like to buy it from you if you will sell it

#16 5 years ago
Quoted from jasonsmith:

Clean it and get it running, it doesn't need to be made perfect unless you want to. It'll play nicely without spending lots of money on new shiny bits. Restore it after if you like it.

Perfect common sense right there, couldn't ta said it better.

#17 5 years ago

That game is a diamond in the rough(except for the glass). The playfield looks real nice with no wear i can see(just dirty). The head looks like it has nice sharp edges and wasn't drag or bounced around and could have been sitting in one spot for a long time protected from being damaged. If the cabinets condition matches the head then you are going to have a nice game once you spend the time installing the missing parts and cleaning it a up. Don't part that game out for decoration or worry about the backglass condition..Please if you can send more pictures of the lower cabinet.I'm dying to know if the cabinet is in nice condition like the head..

1 week later
#18 5 years ago

blueoval got it. Thanks for all the feedback guys. It just wasn't financially feasible for me to fix it up as I would have either had to buy all the parts brand new (expensive) or shop for used (time consuming). Glad it's going to a home where it will see a purpose again.

#19 5 years ago

i've paid less than that for machines in better shape. $100 is to much. for EM's $50 for complete non working is fairly common. This one is missing shit besides.

2 weeks later
#20 5 years ago

thanks dtown . it got here wednesday . thanks for your help i will send a pic when it is all fixed it wont be to bad because i have all the parts to fix it .

#21 5 years ago

As Tim Arnold would say, "Big Albino"!

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