How gratifying! A name, maker, description, date, photo and patent! Well done to all who contributed, especially our resident sleuth for taking the initiative to chase it up with Freddy. Re-reading the thread, I must say your memories proved pretty sharp on the details. My jest about secret futuristic technology wasn't far off either! What an incredible device! It's astonishing that a British made arcade game of the '60s was so advanced.
When I was exploring the patent trail last night I found this 1948 counter-top payout dicer: US patent 2693962 A
. It's also pretty sophisticated for its day. It simulates the game of craps and utilizes contact feeler switches which probe the indicia (pips) to read the lower faces of the dice.
No doubt the complexity (hence cost and unreliability) of the mechanisms limited their success in arcades, but I think the complexity of the rules of the games they simulated would also have been a deterrent to the average punter (who can rarely be bothered to read instructions).
OK - so now the hunt's on for a picture and patent for Streets Spot Luck!
And a bit modern for us, but someone at Wikipedia
wants to know...
Circa 1990, in British amusement arcades, there was a coin-op machine offering Chuck-a-Luck, although the dice weren't in the usual "birdcage" but were each in its own tube, and were "thrown" by being blown upwards (and tumbled in the process) by jets of air. I think the stake was 10p, which would be about average for British AWP machines at that time. Unfortunately I can't recall anything else about this machine, such as what it was called or who made it.