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Restored Machines Shed Light on Former Illegal Gambling Days in Hot Springs

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.- Vintage machines at Hot Springs Memorabilia look as new as they did more than half a century ago, because they've passed through the hands of a man who worked on them back in the spa city's heyday.

Throughout the 1960's Hot Springs was considered the largest illegal gambling operation in the country.

78-year-old Tony Frazier opened his slot machine repair shop back in 1959.

"I just  like to work on them, and its something I know how to do, there's not a lot of people who do," Frazier says.

Avid collectors, Lanny Beavers and Chris Hendrix,  owners of Hot Springs Memorabilia have a workshop for Frazier to continue his work.

As a result, Frazier is able to pursue his passion for slot machines long after illegal gambling operations shut down in Hot Springs.

According to Beavers "we just collect it - I just always need stuff and I always liked it and I always liked Hot Springs and they had gambling and I always thought it was neat."

By refurbishing these machines, Frazier says he's preserving a piece of Hot Springs history.

The museum already has a vast collection of machines, tables, and games but frazier says you can bet he'll keep restoring these pieces of hot springs history for future generations to enjoy.

You can see Frazier's restorations at Hot Springs Memorabilia for free Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


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