Dec 19, 2013

Early Slot Machines a Collecting Jackpot

No one should have that much fun in a mausoleum. But fun was the order of the day: the Elks were in town, holding their 1961 national convention in Miami Beach. Local Elks clubs opened their doors to out-of-state members and provided them with a variety of entertainment options. One such club was the politically well-connected Miami Elks Lodge #948; the club’s past Exalted Rulers included a State’s Attorney and a local Sheriff.

Conventions of any kind can get rowdy, and rumors of illegal slot machine gambling at the Elks Lodge reached Florida State Agents, who raided the lodge. They found nothing. The week following the raid a cemetery grounds man discovered four slot machines while inspecting a broken window in the mausoleum next to the Elks Lodge. The grounds man contacted the police; another raid was conducted and the machines were destroyed. No one knows—or won’t tell—how the slot machines came to be housed in the mausoleum. Read More

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