History of Slot Machines

November 17, 2021

Slot machines are among the most profitable gambling game, whether in live or online casinos. Without a few slot machines strewn across the casino, no modern gambling establishment would be complete. The tinkling of cash dropping into the victor’s rack and the bright lights that glow when a jackpot is won are the pinnacle of the land casino nowadays. Slot machines are one of the newest games in the casino, having been introduced only around 120 years ago. You can find casinos both online and on the casino site. But how did we arrive at this point?


While the origins of many other live casinos are disputed, slot machines are the newest of the games. The first slot machine was developed in Brooklyn, New York, in 1891 when Sittman and Pitt Company invented a gambling device that many believed to be the precursor to the modern-day model. These machines were prominent, and within a short period, they were found in practically every bar in the city. 


Who invented the first slot machine?

Charles Fey is widely considered to be the “Father of Slot Machines.” Fey had 15 older siblings and started supporting his family at 14, but was frightened of getting drafted into the German army. Fey went to France to work as an instrument maker. Fey invented what is now known as the classic slot machine in the late 1880s. In 1887, Fey built the first machine, which he dubbed Liberty Bell, in his San Francisco factory. Liberty Bell was significantly smaller than today’s modern slot machines in terms of size. However, the functionality was essentially the same – three spinners and twenty symbols that worked the same way as the contemporary versions. In 1907, Fey teamed up with the Mills Novelty Company to create the Mills Liberty Bell, a replica of the genuine Liberty Bell.  


The 1930s-1940s 

Mills Novelty Company made several adjustments to its slot machine lineup in the 1930s, which are claimed to have revolutionized the business and propelled slot machines to the foreground of the gambling industry. Mills decided to start by making them significantly silent. The bell was excluded from the slot machines, and these machines became known as Silent Bells. Mills also devised the double jackpot, a system designed to provide players the chance to win a jackpot twice in a row in rapid succession. The prospective ‘notoriety’ of slot machines was known throughout the 1930s, and by the early 1940s, their reputation was undeniable. After Bugsy Siegel installed slot machines in his famous Las Vegas Flamingo Hilton, top-tier gambling establishments scrambled to include them in their casino game offerings. Slot machines were built to keep the women — spouses and girlfriends – entertained while the males engaged in ‘intense’ gaming (Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, etc.) However, much to the astonishment of most, slot machine income eventually surpassed that of traditional casino table games.


Computer-aided Era

The first computerized era of slot machines began in the early 1980s. Sircoma, a newcomer to the market, created a video poker slot machine that created quite a stir. Many players were initially skeptical of the video portion, believing that they couldn’t entirely trust it because they couldn’t see the reels turning. When the machine’s success became obvious, these fears dissipated quickly. Players were also offered a broader selection of choices and possibilities throughout the computerized era. Players no longer require coins to play because machines now accept bills. As a result, gamers could spend more time at the machine and less time standing in lines to change money. 


Other devices were created that enabled a player to select from several different games on the same machine. These slot machines were evolving into an all-encompassing gambling venue, removing the need for gamers to wander the casino searching for new games. Bonus features were also included, allowing players to win even more money in addition to the already massive jackpot awards offered by most slot machines. 


Modern Day Slot Machines

Nowadays, slot machines account for roughly 30% of a casino’s income. To keep slot machines even more appealing, they usually have bright lights and stylish casings. The slot machines that produce more frequent winnings are intentionally positioned in high-traffic areas on the casino floor to draw in more customers.


Online Slot Machines

Slots online are just as popular at live casinos as they are in the world of internet casinos. The gambling world has never been the same after online casinos took the world by storm. Games that were previously only available in gambling establishments, pubs, and casinos became accessible to anyone who could lawfully and technologically play them online.

Slot machines have undoubtedly become popular over the years, but their roots can be dated beyond the casino and gaming scene. Slot machines as we know them now originated from the late 1800s when the prototypes were nothing more than novelty items.

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