In today’s gambling world, slot machines are the most sought after casino games. They are otherwise known as fruit machine, pokies, poker machine, slot, or puggy in different parts of the world. When it comes to slot machines, they are one of the trusted casino games by the online casinos that enable them to make them some decent revenues. For the players, it’s one of the easiest casino games that don’t require a lot of strategies or techniques to play.
Read on more as we take you back to the time when it was invented.
Inception of Slot Machines
The first usage of these machines and gambling in general can be traced back to the year 1891. Pitt and Sittman from Brooklyn, New York developed them, which comprised of five drums with 50 cards. Based on a game of poker, the cards needed to align to form a good hand in order to win.
The machine became popular in a short span of time and every bar started to possess one of these machines. People who were interested in playing would pull lever after inserting a nickel. This would roll the drums and also the cards they held.
Every time the cards rolled, players hoped for a good hand of poker. Initially, there were no monetary benefits to this type of gambling and people were offered a free beer, some extra drinks, or even a cigar.
Development of Slot Machines
Based on the model mentioned above, Charles Fey from San Francisco developed the very first slot machine with a simple automated mechanism.
Some claim that he invented this in 1887; while others claim that it was in 1895. The slot machine was named as Liberty Bell, which instantly gained popularity among fellow gamblers.
Although, the usage of gambling devices was not allowed legally in the US, there was a huge demand from other places. This model was an inspiration for other slot machines and some even copied this model.
In 1907, Operator Bell machine was manufactured by Chicago based Herbert Mills. By around 1908, almost every city had ‘bell’ slot machines installed in saloons, cigar stores, bowling alley, and even in barber shops.
Seeing the huge amount of fans and knowing that the market is untapped Charles, then went ahead and founded a company, which aimed at designing and manufacturing slot machines only.
The company was named after him ‘Charles Fey and Company Inc’ and dominated the gambling industry for the next 50 years.
Legal Restrictions of the Slot Machine
By 1909, slots were considered as illegal in San Francisco. By 1911, this rule was applied to the whole of California. But this certainly didn’t stop Charles Fey as he became creative and devised new ways to make the slot machine, which did not clash with the legal system.
This is the time when cards were traded for a fruits theme slot machine. But it was not long before, when authorities found a loophole and the ‘State vs. Ellis’ case was a huge blow to all the slot machines.
While facing the wrath of the legal system, the gambling industry was growing in Nevada where there were no legal restrictions. This was when Miss Novelty Company came into the scene providing cheaper slots, which was made out of wooden cabinets.
Although there was another legal blow in 1951, when the Transportation of Gambling Devices Act was passed by Congress, in the 1960s, Bally Corporation came into the scene with advanced features, taking gambling to a whole new level.
The Introduction of Video Slots
The video slot was introduced in 1976 by Fortune Coin Co., which was based out of Las Vegas. The more advanced version with a second screen bonus was implemented in 1996 by WMS Industries Inc.
With the launch of Steam Tower slot by Net Entertainment, the online casino industry has gone a step further and slots can be played on mobile devices as well now.