A reel spinning apparatus for use in devices in which a plurality of reels carrying representations of symbols, letters, numbers or other indicia on their peripheries are assembled linearly spaced alongside each other and are free to rotate independently of each other in which each reel is rotatably mounted in a bracket which is itself pivotably mounted on a base in which is an electric motor and a shaft carrying friction drive wheels one for each reel. The reels each have an annular surface and frictional driving contact with one of the friction drive wheels, the weight of the reel and its associated bracket acting to hold the annular surface in engagement with the friction drive wheel. The reels are thus all driven together but may be stopped individually by means of a solenoid operated detent which is engageable in any one of a plurality of notches or the like formed around the circumference of each reel. On stopping a reel the friction drive wheel continues to rotate but simply slips on the surface of the reel.
Alternatively the friction drive wheel can be clutch driven in such a way that the clutch will slip when the wheel is stopped.
Associated with each reel is a sensor for sensing the position in which the reel has stopped. A preferred sensor is a photo optical apparatus operating in conjunction with holes formed in the reel the position of each of which is associated with one of the indicia arranged around the circumference of the reel.