Vegas Marketing

Souvenir of Las Vegas, circa…quite a while ago.

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This tiny plastic slot machine was from Bud’s Liquor & Gifts, Las Vegas. I know this because it’s branded on the bottom. When I was about 10 or so, on a family vacation where we briefly passed through Vegas, just to see what the fuss was about, this slot machine was handed to me by a man outside Bud’s Liquor & Gifts on the strip—perhaps it was Bud himself, although I’ll never know, as I wasn’t actually allowed into Bud’s Liquor & Gifts, due to my minor status.

This was from the era before Vegas was a “Family” destination. All the current Disneyish/Fantasyland hotels didn’t exist. Children were not allowed in casinos or anything with gambling (Bud’s Liquor & Gifts also conveniently had slot machines, as did pretty much every business in town). There was a line painted on the sidewalk outside of venues that children weren’t allowed to cross. Of course my brothers and I tested it a couple of times. The results were rather scary. Guys like Bud (or whoever he was) turned mean if you crossed that line.

But the kiddie ban didn’t stop industrious types like Bud from handing out toy slot machines to possible future patrons, or turning children into mini-marketers. “Tell your parents,” he hissed, as he handed me the toy slot machine. Creepy. The slot machine WAS fun to play with, but I definitely didn’t tell my parents they should go into Bud’s Liquor & Gifts. And I’ve never gone back to Vegas.

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