In a thunderous clamor, the Pink Panther slots are eviscerated: slammed, crushed and rendered unrecognizable before our eyes.
The video poker machines also fold violently when the steel claw slams and mashes the metal into digestible pieces, then scoops and deposits the debris into a dumpster.
The Caterpillar 318C backhoe does not discriminate, ripping apart the 25 cent as well as the $1 gaming machines gathered outside the Casino Magic warehouse on Wednesday.
The 250 machines, each worth about $5,000, were damaged in the warehouse by Hurricane Katrina, and the insurance company was making sure the property wouldn’t be recycled elsewhere. Serial numbers were removed and the candy-colored slots were lined up for execution.
Smajo Dujkovic worked as a slot machine mechanic at Casino Magic. He knows the inner secrets, the delicate mechanisms that bring some joy, but mostly frustration, to gamblers at casinos everywhere.
On Wednesday, he was helping the demolition crew, one of the many part-time jobs he’s going to need before the casino get back to business.
And the Bosnian native admits to feeling a little emotional watching the demolition -- even though he knows they are, after all, only machines.
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