Bingo Pinballs


Created on 08-29-2015


_ From NewLife Games _ Slot Machine Forum _


Bally Bingo machines - a story


I suspect that many NLG members also have interests in pinball, well I do anyways, so here is an interesting(?) story about an unusual buy.

About a year ago I came across a Bally Tahiti Bingo pinball machine that was found in the back storage room, still in its shipping carton.  I don't have all the facts about that, but I understand that the person that found it took it out of the box, set it up, plugged it in, and it didn't work.  He didn't know what to do with it so he sold it a couple of guys in Louisville, KY that restore pinball machines.  They hadn't worked on a bingo pinball before and decided they didn't want to tinker with it so it was put it on Ebay.  I saw the price climb to $450 and then stopped climbing after being posted for a couple days, but it still had a week to go on the auction.  I use Jaybidwatcher to automatically post my real bid in the last 6 seconds of an Ebay auction and I had a feeling that others were doing the same so I contacted the seller and offered him $xxxx if he would stop the auction and sell it to me now.  The Tahiti was manufactured in July 1976 and had no plays on it.  How often does something like that come along?  So he took it off Ebay.  He told me that he got a lot of complaints from others who were planning to bid but hadn't.  I don't trust shippers so I drove down to Louisville and got the Bingo machine (thank you Budget rental with unlimited mileage).  Well the machine really didn't take much to get it working.  There are a lot of lubed mechanisms in a bingo and the lube from 1976 became the glue of 2010.  A lot of cleaning off old lube and applying new took care of the problems, though there was one plastic piece broken on a ganged set of switch contacts but a bit of CA (superglue) repaired that.

Normally I wouldn't post anything about pinball on this forum, but a Bally Bingo pinball is very similar to a slot machine in that it has a progressive 'payout'.  Mine pays out in credits though I have seen one that had a coin payout similar to a Liberty Bell console that I used to own.  Normal mechanical pinball machines typically allow about 15 credits or so.  This Bally Tahiti Bingo pinball allows up to 1400 credits.  You can 'wager' up to 40 coins per game ($10 a game).  As you wager more coins the payout odds usually increase.  All you need to then is shoot up 5 balls, get them to drop into the desired holes on the playfield and watch the credits rise.  I understand that if you knew the bartender well enough you would ask him to come over to look at the machine credits and if you had 400 credits, he would power cycle the machine (resets the credit counter) and though illegal, he would bestow $100 on you.

So there are similarities with slots: you invest cash, you play the game, and you get paid off if you know the bartender.

This is only my second bingo machine.  If I remember correctly, the coin counter on my first machine was just over 300,000.  By the time I got this one working right, the coin counter was at 000123.

Well, it's not a slot machine story but I thought it might provide interesting reading.  I will attach a photo just in case someone here hasn't seen a bingo.

If I were reading something like this I would be curious what price was paid.  Some of you will think I am crazy (especially if you don't like bingos) and some might think I got a good deal, but I paid $2000.  I am happy with my purchase and I guess that's what really counts.  I took the cardboard shipping container it was in (don't know why) and I still have it.

I have been told that Bally Bingo pinball machines were common in Las Vegas.  I don't think I have ever seen one in an older movie filmed in Las Vegas.  Anyone know about this?

BigCheese (Mike)

bingos took all my paper route money, thanks mom for bailing me out so many times with the paper bill, My 1st bingo was a plam springs bally 1954, at 1 point we had 20 bingos out in local stores making real $$$ in nj , the tahiti  was a dog as far as making money we also found them nib from ky area , with miss uni , and some dixelands tahti ,miss uni were 200 each dixeland were 600 to my door in nj , bingo were way ahead of their time,

Hmmm, tough crowd.


From your post: the tahiti  was a dog as far as making money we also found them nib from ky area , with miss uni , and some dixelands tahti ,miss uni were 200 each dixeland were 600 to my door in nj , bingo were way ahead of their time,

From my post: Some of you will think I am crazy (especially if you don't like bingos) and some might think I got a good deal, but I paid $2000.

I think that I will chalk that up to a vote for crazy.  I am curious though how many years back that was.  If it was recent, I would really like to buy more bingos NIB at 200 or 600 each.  They aren't commonplace in Minnesota.  Actually, the 2 that I have owned are the only 2 that I have seen in Minnesota.  When I mentioned that I would be selling my used Tahiti, it took about 10 minutes to sell it and I did better than the NIB prices you mentioned.  I had no reservation about purchasing this Tahiti NIB for $2000.  I looked at the difference between what I was paying for a NIB and what I got for my used Tahiti as a restoration fee to get an incredible restoration.

A few years ago I simply ran out of room in my home to place new toys and still keep the house looking neat and a pleasant pleasant place to live instead of a machine warehouse.   A collector friend of mine had told me that when that happens you change from collecting quantity to collecting quality and that's just what I did.  I have replaced almost all of my machines and now all but one of my pinballs looks like it just came out of the box.

Some of my purchases have been great and a few not so great.  I did well on my 64 Cadillac and on a 54 Williams All Star Baseball.  If NIB bingos can still be purchased for 200 - 600, then I will have to classify this one as a not so great and follow it up with buying a few more bingos NIB.

You could clarify something though since you were an avid bingo player.  You mentioned that you put your paper route money in.  OK, you put money in, so what did you get out?  On my Tahiti all you get are credits if you win.  Did the bingo you played vend credits, cash, did someone at the store pay off the credits, or did you just play for fun?

Well, thanks for the info.  Please let me know if NIB bingos can still be had for 200 - 600 and I am also quite interested in your experience with playing bingos.... why did you put your paper route money in?


I,ll say mid 80,s when we bought that  load from south to nj  , but we still see a few   used but nice shape  bingos at auctions in nc  theres one this sat june 4th  there you can buy then for around 100 bucks each there was just a huge auction in  ashville nc in april had aleast 50 bingos there , the flipper pinball buyer  don,t know how to repair a bingo so they stay away from them,   the oldest one we had out was a atlantic city  3 card it was from early 50,s
you,ll love this site

yes when i started playing bingos it was a nickel we used to put in 5 to 10 coins a shot  you could put in a few hundred coins on some game to  advance odds , and other stuff if we hit a 100 replays we got 5 bucks , once the game is turned off and then on the relay drops out and those games count down and go  on  a meter so the game owner know how much was really paid out from the store keeper , the last ones we ran were on 25 cent play , one good thing about bingos when places got raided they took 8 liners and pokers but always left bingos cause they were so heavy













?? Story ??


?? 1400 Credits ??