Slot machines have seen several advancements and modifications since their inception more than 130 years ago. They have quickly become the most important part of the worldwide gambling business because of their wide availability and user-friendly regulations. We’ll explore one of the industry’s most popular slots online games, from one-armed bandits to smartphone slots.
1891: The beginning
In 1891, a New York firm called Sittman and Pitt built the first slot machine out of five drums and fifty playing cards. Due to its revolutionary operation of pushing the lever to match up winning poker hands on the reels, the machine became popular in many bars for a nickel. The machine had no mechanism to pay out winners, so players had to travel to the bar to receive prizes, usually free drinks or cigars. The house needed the advantage; therefore, the ten spades and the jack of hearts were removed from the machine, reducing the chances of a royal flush by 50%.
Liberty Bell 1894
Slot machines as we know them today were developed in 1894 by American inventor Charles August Fey, who was of Bavarian ancestry. He invented the first three-reel slot machine with automated cash payouts, the Card Bell, in 1898. The coin-operated machine was a smash, so Fey built the 4-11-44, which was so popular he created a factory to make them full-time. Then in 1899, an improved version of the Liberty Bell built on earlier designs launched slot machines into the public consciousness.
Operator Bell, 1902–1908.
Invented by Herbert Mills of Chicago in 1907, the Operator Bell was a precursor to today’s ubiquitous slot machines inspired by the iconic Liberty Bell. In 1908, the device was commonplace in bowling alleys, stores, salons, and tobacconists.
Money Honey – 1964
The Bally Manufacturing Co. released the first fully electromechanical slot machine, Money Honey, in 1964. Even though the reels were completely electrically operated, players may still feel familiar by pulling the lever to start the game. The first slot machine to pay out 500 coins had a bottomless hopper. As time progressed, pressing a button rather than a handle was the standard way to begin play.
Fortune Coin, 1976–1978
In 1976, Las Vegas-based Fortune Coin built the first video slot in Kearny Mesa, California. The game, which uses a Sony TV that has been customised, had its debut at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel before receiving clearance to roll out statewide from the Nevada State Gaming Commission. After then, electric slot machines became commonplace in Vegas, ushering in a prosperous new age for slot play.
The next major turning point in slots’ evolution occurred in 1996 with the advent of “Reel ‘Em” by WMS Industries Inc. It pioneered using a second screen for a bonus feature in a video slot, with the bonus game being played on a completely different screen from the main game. Because of these and other factors, slot machines have become more popular. They account for a disproportionately large share of a casino’s income and take up a disproportionately large share of the available floor space.
Online casinos emerged in the 1990s, marking a turning point in the evolution of slot machines. Authorities were wary initially because they thought it would lead to more criminal activities like money laundering on the black market. The bettors also needed more faith that virtual slot machines could match the excitement of the real thing. This is why regulators were originally sceptical and gamblers were initially wary.