Sigma Derby Horse Racing Casino Game at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

Sigma Derby Las Vegas: Plastic Horse Racing Casino Game

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Everyone knows the gambling standards of Las Vegas casinos: Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, Slots, Craps. But tucked away in the midst of the card tables of the MGM Grand Casino was my favorite game of them all, one that only a true Silly American could appreciate: Sigma Derby, a plastic horse racing casino game.

Sigma Derby Horse Racing Casino Game at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

Picture this: five ponies line up at the start line, the bell sounds and they take off, each jockey vying for that win, each horse trying to outdo it’s competitors, racing in a circle, until a winner is declared, as the fans place bets and jeer and cheer in disappointment and celebration…

Sigma Derby Horse Racing Casino Game at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

Now, picture these ponies and these jockeys in miniature plastic, racing under glass as gamblers add quarters to bet on which ponies will place in which place. This is Sigma Derby, an electro-mechanical game by Japanese manufacturer Sigma Game Inc.

Sigma Derby Horse Racing Casino Game at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

You are given odds that you can follow for a chance at a small payout or ignore for a smaller chance at a big payout (heck, I won $20 that way). You are given a bucket, which to me is a crazy site in modern-Vegas as this is one of few (if any other) machines on the strip that takes AND pays actual coinage. And you get the chance to see a bunch of adults yelling and screaming in hopes that a plastic pony will come through (albeit…they may be a bit drunk).

Sigma Derby Horse Racing Casino Game at MGM Grand in Las Vegas
Sigma Derby Horse Racing Casino Game at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

I guarantee that this horse-racing game was definitely one of the best (and silliest) gambling experiences on the Las Vegas strip.

35 years ago, in 1985, this casino horse racing game began appearing in Las Vegas casinos, and you could find these popular tables all around town, from Excalibur to Caesars to Luxor. But, when Sigma Game Inc. went out of business in 2010, the games became harder to source parts for and repair.

By the late 2010s, the Sigma Derby MGM was the only one of its kind left in Las Vegas. But that machine broke in 2017 and was removed from the casino floor.

Luckily, a new one has appeared in town, this time off the strip in a new casino on Fremont Street. The D Casino is now the only casino in Las Vegas with an original, refurbished Sigma Derby Game.

While only one of these classic casino games remains, Las Vegas visitors seeking a horse racing toy-based gambling device can now find a couple of new kids on the block.

While only one of these classic casino games remains, Las Vegas visitors seeking a horse racing toy-based gambling device can now find a couple of new kids on the block. Alfastreet’s Royal Derby and Konami’s Fortune Cup.

After debuting at G2E 2016, Konami’s Fortune Cup, a “multi-station horse racing concept” combines digital touch screens with with mechanical horses for an old Vegas meets new experience.

While it’s not quite the same, it’s good to know that there is still one place to play those old Las Vegas horse racing games, and perhaps the new ones will shepherd the way for more of the old ones to be refurbished and appear once again on the casino floors.

While only one of these classic casino games remains, Las Vegas visitors seeking a horse racing toy-based gambling device can now find a couple of new kids on the block.

Alfastreet’s Royal Derby and Konami’s Fortune Cup.

After debuting at G2E 2016, Konami’s Fortune Cup, a “multi-station horse racing concept” combines digital touch screens with with mechanical horses for an old Vegas meets new experience.

While it’s not quite the same, it’s good to know that there is still one place to play those old Las Vegas horse racing games, and perhaps the new ones will shepherd the way for more of the old ones to be refurbished and appear once again on the casino floors.


Sigma Derby Las Vegas: Plastic Horse Racing Casino Game

MGM Location (Gone): MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Cost: a quarter a bet
Hours: The casino is open 24/7
Restrictions: You must be 21 to gamble.
Date: March 20, 2006/December 2, 2007

New Location: The D Casino & Hotel, 301 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101


While in town, be sure to also check out the world’s largest chocolate fountain at the Bellagio and take a ride on a gondola at the Venetian.

Val

Val is the founder and head road tripper at Silly America. Having grown up near Berwyn's famed car kabob, The Spindle, and a restaurant with a cow on its roof, her fascination with roadside attractions started early. Today, Val has visited over 300 roadside attractions across 31 states and is constantly on the lookout for the next BIG thing!

Val also blogs about her life, travels, and cats on her personal blog, Choosing Figs.

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