Sigma Derby Game | History


RICK: My buddy Casino downtown is thinking about selling his Sigma Derby racer. This is one of the coolest machines ever made for Vegas. So I’m going to go see if I can buy it.

DEREK: Here it is. This was like the coolest thing in the world back in the ’80s. Me and my buddies used to play this thing all night long. You know, it’s not like–

CHUMLEE: Rick, can I borrow a couple bucks? RICK: I got $100s. CHUMLEE: That’ll do. – Bring me change. – Yeah. I’m going to get two rolls of quarters. RICK: Or 10.

DEREK: Sigma Derby is a slot machine that 10 people can play microgaming together. This is a machine that has a life unto itself. And you know, a lot of people believe if you come to Vegas and make your first bet on Sigma Derby, it’s good luck for the rest of the weekend.

RICK: Back in the day, I absolutely loved these things. You and all your buddies could play the thing, and it only cost a quarter. You know, it limited the amount of money you could lose. You have to wait for all your buddies to make a bet, and then you’ve got to wait for it to go around. It’s not like a slot machine that takes two seconds. That’s right. It’s a community slot machine. You can have a drink here, and everybody’s in it together. RICK: Did you win, Chum? – No. [chuckling] This machine is pretty iconic here in Vegas. There’s only a couple of them left, and I know it could be worth a ton of money. I just got to see what he wants for it. So you’re thinking about selling it, maybe? You know, we’ve had it up here a couple of years. I love this game, but– but I’m open.

OK. How much do you want for it? DEREK: Well, this thing is pretty special. I’d probably need about $80,000. RICK: Um, I have no idea that’s a good price. So let me call a buddy of mine, and let me have a look at it. All right? – All right. [FUN CONSOLE ORGAN STYLE MUSIC PLAYING] DEREK: I’m so proud of this machine that if Rick can bring an expert in, I’m excited about it, because I think he’s going to see what great shape this in. RICK: So what do you think? NICK: I like it. Let me tell you a little bit about the machine. Sigma was created by Katsuki Manabe back in the ’60s. And he learned quickly, to compete in the slot machine industry, you need to make machines that are not like everybody else is making. So he made this. And just about every major casino in town back in 1985 had one of these. But this particular machine is really nice to see, because it works. That was the biggest problem with these, is that they were always breaking down.

Well, what do you want to know? Well, does it run right? Apparently it runs right. What do these things go for? It’s very rare to find one of these really working, and he’s got all 10 stations that are running. I’ve seen them as low as $7,000 in unrestored shape, but on this shape, probably at least $30,000, $40,000. RICK: OK. Well, cool. Thanks, man. – Hey, you’re welcome. Very nice to meet you. DEREK: Hey, great to meet you. CHUMLEE: Hey, Nick? Yeah. CHUMLEE: Before you leave, can you change the settings so I can win? NICK: I would love to, but that would be cheating. A collector would want this, because it’s unique. But first of all, you got to have a place to put it. And then, you have to find the right buyer that’s going to invest their– their basement space for this. So yeah, I mean, if they get a good price for it, yeah, it would be a good buy. RICK: So how much did you want for this thing? DEREK: You know, for me, I needed $80,000. RICK: Um, that’s not going to happen. Well, I guess I can’t make you an offer. There’s just no money here. Well, thanks, man. Thanks for showing it to me. – Thanks. Brings back memories. Come on, Chum.

CHUMLEE: Hold on. I’m waiting on this last race. RICK: Chum. I’ll meet you in the car. One minute behind you. RICK: OK, if you’re not there in two minutes, I’m leaving without– you’re walking to the shop. DEREK: You know, for us it’s still something really special. I think at the price the expert put out there, it’s worth a lot more to us on the floor. CHUMLEE: (EXCITEDLY) Yeah! Woo. Hold up, Rick. Let me cash out. [coins falling]