Busting Vegas Myths: Visiting the Shop Won’t Get You on ‘Pawn Stars’


Published on: December 25, 2023, 08:07h. 

Last updated on: December 24, 2023, 12:32h.

A group known for spotting fake reproductions is actually producing one themselves.

Fans line up to visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in downtown Las Vegas. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Since the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” reality series began in 2009, an average of 5,000 visitors per day have come to see the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop located at 713 Las Vegas Blvd in downtown Las Vegas.

Most people bring family heirlooms and dreams of being on TV as a customer, or as seeing stars like Corey Harrison, Rick Harrison, or Austin Lee “Chumlee” Russell. (Richard “Old Man” Harrison passed away in 2018.)

But that doesn’t happen for 99.999% of visitors because none of the show’s cast members actually work at the pawn shop.

Credit to Casino.org’s Vital Vegas blogger Scott Roeben for revealing the truth way back in 2013. Unfortunately, the myth persists because of the show’s refusal to admit the truth.

Gone Stars

What “Pawn Stars” never mentions is that they shoot the show on a hidden set, a smaller replica of the actual store located on the second floor of the same building, which is not accessible to the public.

At left, a preselected customer approaches Rick Harrison on the “Pawn Stars” set with an item to sell. Note the fake front door on the left and the real one on the right. The fake one is opaque, instead of clear, so viewers can’t see that it doesn’t open out onto the street. (Images: Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas, and Pinterest)

After shooting the show in the real shop in the first season, they found it impossible to continue due to the large crowds seeking autographs and selfies. Shooting in a separate studio allows the real pawn shop to continue making a profit without interruption, although the gift shop, as was pointed out in 2013, generates more money than the actual pawn shop.

How You Can Get on ‘Pawn Stars’

There is a tiny chance that a few individuals will be invited to participate in the tapings of “Pawn Stars.” However, these individuals are only allowed to appear in the background and are instructed not to interact with the cast.

Yes, this is real. It was provided by a member of the show’s  casting team to Casino.org blogger Scott Roeben. And it’s the only way you can get on the show as a “customer.” (Image: Vital Vegas)

The show pre-selects all “customer” roles in advance and does not pick anyone from the real shop. Auditions are arranged by producers, and there is an acting protocol for the few lucky ones who are chosen.

Everything you see on the show is actually acting, and the “customers” are given instructions on how to behave before each scene starts.

Additionally, the Pawn Stars are briefed in advance on the items they are assessing, giving the impression that they are knowledgeable about the historical significance and value of the items, which is far from the truth.

Now that it’s out in the open, do you realize that it’s all just show business?

Merry Christmas!

“Pawn Stars” is currently auditioning customers, after shooting two seasons of Pawn Stars Do America on the road. The producers have announced that they will be resuming tapings in Las Vegas in 2024.

Interested fans can send photos of their items to PawnStarsTVshow@itv.com.

Keep an eye out for “Vegas Myths Busted” every Monday on Casino.org. And visit VegasMythsBusted.com to check out previously debunked Vegas myths. Have a Vegas myth that needs to be debunked? Send an email to corey@casino.org.



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