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How Casino Slots Changed Throughout History

by Contributing Author

The casino slots are popular casino games sought out by many gamblers, with thousands to choose from, may it be online or offline. And it’s interesting to see how far they have evolved since the first iteration of the slot machine.

If you’re questioning its origins and how far it’s come, read on! This article will show you how the first slot with an automatic payout came to be, down to the rise of online slots.

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The First Years

Most historians have credited Charles August Fey for inventing the first slot machine between 1887 to 1895. However, at the same time, a New York-based company named Sittman and Pitt created the game Fey may have been inspired from. What made Fey different was that it has an automatic payment system.

This machine was called Liberty Bell as it was one of the symbols from the reels, along with diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, and spades. The biggest win would be three bells.

While this was one of the only designs he released, they were so successful that he quit his job to open up a factory. He manufactured around 100 of the Liberty slot machines himself, but unfortunately, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed most of them. Furthermore, Fey never patented the design, so other manufacturers began copying it.

Fey’s Liberty Bell machine, along with other machines created by the New York-based competitor, operated similarly. The machine would have a lever that players needed to pull to activate the machine after they inserted a nickel. The lever will set the reels in motion, stretching a spring that stops the reels one by one, gradually.

Some players used to think they could increase the chances of winning by pulling the levers in specific manners, which is a superstition that people actually believe up to this date!

Fast Forward to Today

Fast forward to World War 2, which left many countries desperate and looking for ways to earn. This is what prompted them to tax gambling revenue.

At this point, slot machines became extremely popular worldwide, and thanks to advanced technology, slot machines have evolved to what we know and play today.

Let’s first go back to the 20th century. Slot machine manufacturers began toying with electromechanical designs back in the 1940s, but they still relied on levers for reel control.

Fast forward to 1963, when a company named Bally invented the first fully electromechanical slot machine, called Money Honey. While it still required the lever, it didn’t affect the reels, which were operated on an electrical system.

In 1976, Fortune Coin Company created the first video slot machine, using a 19-inch Sony TV as its display system. This is what replaced the classic spinning reels that have been used ever since the slots were created. It was first released in the Hilton Hotel, located in Las Vegas.

Besides using video screens, the company also used logic boards as a way to control reels. These were based on ways to create random number generators. While the first few efforts weren’t perfect, it resulted in the logic boards and then the super jackpots in 1986 when casino operators started to use electronic systems for linking multiple slots.

In the 1990s, the slot machines everyone knows today were now all out, using random number generators and video displays over traditional reels.

About 70% of a casino’s income comes from slot machines. In fact, there are around 830,000 slot machines (and counting) across the United States, with around 200,000 of them in Nevada!

What Will Happen Tomorrow?

Despite how popular slot machines have become and how drastically they changed, they aren’t able to attract younger players as much as expected. Today, online casinos, video games, and mobile tech revolutionized the industry. This is why casinos are looking for ways to attract the new generation to continue earning.

There are now a lot of ways casinos are getting millennials into the slots, such as:

·  Online slot games

·  Skill-based games

·  Virtual reality

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·  Improved casino experience (online or offline)

With all these efforts and the continuous adaptation to today’s trends and technology, slot machines still continue to stay popular among millions of people!

Do you want to learn more about the history and evolution of gambling? The author, Alexandra Vasilkova, has a ton of more insights you can learn from her about.

Wrapping It Up

It’s interesting to see how much growth the casino slots have experienced, from the first one in the 1800s, the development of slot symbols, up to the advanced technology of today and tomorrow.

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