History of slot machines and their development

Slot machines dominate the online casino market in the modern age. Millions of punters enjoy gambling with online slots through their laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc. The advancement in computer and video technology has made slots one of the most popular gambling games of the 21st century, but where did it all begin? We take you back through the history of slot machines…

The first slot machine

When were the first slot machines invented? Who invented the first slot machine?

The first slot machine was invented in 1891 by Sittman and Pitt in New York. The machine was originally based on the game of poker and held over 50 card faces. These machines would often attract a big crowd of people to watch as players inserted their coins and pulled the lever. The one big difference in the first slot machines was that they did not have the capability to pay-out cash instantly, so a good round would often win the player a drink at the bar instead.

In 1902, a man called Chris Fey developed the slot machine into a game where the lever would be pulled to reveal three symbols one by one – if the symbols matched a prize, the machine would pay-out your winnings in cash. Thus, was born the modern ideology of a slot machine today, and is key to understanding the history of slot machines…

Slot machine development

In 1963, Bally developed the first fully electromechanical slot machine, calling it Money Honey. The electromechanical structure allowed pay-outs of up to 500 coins without the help of an attendant in a casino, which is said to be the beginning of the rise in popularity of slot machine gambling.

One of the most notable moments in the history of slots is when the first video slot machine was introduced in a hotel in Las Vegas in 1976. Featuring a modified 19-inch Sony TV as a display screen, it was from here that the slot business took off in Las Vegas, and by the late 1970s every casino on the strip had their own video slot machines. The most popular slot machines were the fruit machines and one-armed bandits. Throughout the 80s and 90s, slot machines reached new levels of success with the addition of video technology.

Not limited by structural or mechanical problems, video slots took over the casino industry. Bonus rounds, additional pay-outs, and many other features were introduced as slots moved seamlessly with the progression of modern technology.

Online slots games

Since the late 1900s and just before the turn of the century, it is suggested that slots are responsible for over 70% of the casino industry income. Although the first casino games to be developed in an online format were poker and blackjack, slot machine games followed shortly after, and are now the most played UK online casino game. As online casino games and jackpot games progress year after year, there’s no limit to what the future of slots may hold.

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One response to “History of slot machines and their development”

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