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In the Depression of the 1930s, slot machines abounded in Orillia

Len's Casino was one of at least 20 locations around town that was home to at least one five-cent slot machine in the 1930s
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Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by Marcel Rousseau.

Some were previously published by the Orillia Museum of Art and History and in the book Postcard Memories Orillia.

The slot machines at Casino Rama are not the first ones to entertain us in the Orillia area.

During the Depression of the 1930s, slot machines were legal in Ontario and the businesses in town were quick to take advantage of any extra revenue during these hard times.

The late Victor Battalia recalled occasionally playing these machines as a young man delivering orders around town in his family’s grocery truck. Victor got his driver's licence in 1934 and remembers at least 20 locations that boasted at least one slot machine.

Almost every gas station, snack bar and restaurant made room for one. They were all five cent machines and didn’t pay out much.

Reg. Hill, of the Hill’s Restaurant family, operated Hills Recreation Hall at 82 Colborne St. W. and serviced at least 12 slot machines around town, including one at Murray Woodrow’s Restaurant across the road.

By the end of the 1930s, with the outbreak of war, slot machines were banned and destroyed with many disappearing into the homes of collectors.

Len’s Casino, a Supertest Gasoline Station that later switched to Shell, was located on the corner of Highway 11 (now Laclie St.) and Old Muskoka Road.




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