The popularity of online slots continues to skyrocket. Studies show that slots are the most popular games in online casinos.
Things have not always been this way. Years ago, you would not even come across any slots online. This is because only traditional slot machines existed.
The evolution of slot machines has been nothing short of amazing. The article below will take you through the journey, highlighting some of the most incredible facts about the history of slot machines.
Slot Machines Were Referred to as the Liberty Bell
When slot machines first hit the market, they were known as the Liberty Bell. The first gambling machine was developed by August Charles Fey in 1884.
At first, the gambling machines were huge. Fey, however, worked on them until they could profitably fit into a room.
The game came with symbols such as hearts, spades, diamonds, and the Liberty Bell. It is also interesting to learn that the grand jackpot of the game was 50 cents.
The Liberty Bell was nonetheless a huge success. Within no time, it was a prominent feature in bars and other establishments.
As the Liberty Bell continued to be more popular, it was renamed the One-Armed Bandit. Inspiration for the name came from the fact that the machine featured a lever on the side.
While people cannot play the original slot machine, gamers can view it at a museum located in Reno.
Calamity Claimed the First Machines
After the gambling machines had been in the market for a couple of years, calamity struck. An earthquake struck in 1906, wiping out a majority of Liberty Bell Machines that Fey had built. Only 4 machines were spared during this time.
Slot Machines Became Illegal
In 1902, many American states banned slot machines because of gambling laws. Charles Fey had to think on his feet. He developed slot machines that did not offer any cash prizes to beat the laws.
Fey replaced the card symbols on the reels with fruits and sweets. Players would receive the prize that the reels showed. For instance, if a gamer managed to land on 3 identical pictures of chewing gum, they would walk away with a packet of gum.
The Electromechanical Slot Machine Was Introduced
The electromechanical slot machine was the next huge step in the early styles of slot machines. This happened back in 1964. This slot machine was developed by a firm that was known as Bally.
The slot machine was known as Money Honey. It was the first game to offer a bottomless hopper. This made it possible for the machine to pay winners up to 500 coins.
Money Honey was also different in that it came with electric reels. However, even with this type of reel, the machine still needed a pulled lever for making the reels spin.
Years later, developers did away with the lever. A button was introduced to make spinning easy and more convenient.
A Series of Innovations Were Introduced
After Money Honey, numerous innovations followed. Examples of notable ones include the development of video slot machines in the 1970s.
These were manufactured by a company known as Fortune Coin from Las Vegas. For display, the machine used a 19-inch Sony television.
WMS Industries in 1996 featured a bonus round in their slot machine. While bonus rounds may be a normal occurrence today, it was a huge deal in the 90s.
The same slot machine also offered extra payouts to players who won the bonus round. From here, bonuses became a normal part of slot machines.
Online Slots were Developed
With the advent of the Internet in the 90s, slot games went through another major transformation. Gamers no longer needed to go to traditional casinos or bars to play slots.
The slot titles were now virtual games that could be played at online casinos. Today, online slots are the most popular games.
It’s undeniable that online slots have had an economic and social impact. A study in the UK reported that slot enthusiasts spend more than £5 billion on video slots.
The future of slots is exciting. As technology continues to improve, the industry can anticipate more incredible changes in the coming years.
It is empowering to learn about all the incredible facts about the history of slot machines. It makes gamers appreciate the transformation.
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