Slot machines are so much a part of casinos that one can’t even imagine a casino not having them.
They’ve been around for a long time now, more than 100 years, but the ones in use today are vastly different from the ones that were first introduced to enthusiastic gamblers.
The biggest appeals of slot machines come from the facts that they are easy to use and you don’t have to pay a lot of money every time you play them (unless you really want to).
The earliest versions of slot machines appeared in the beginning of the 20th century and a German immigrant based in San Francisco, Charles Fey is credited with having invented the first machine to which he gave the name Liberty Bell.
Fey later went into business with the Chicago-based Mills Novelty Company to manufacture large numbers of the Mills Liberty Bell.
The original slot machines were made of metal and they operated mechanically, making it very difficult to move them around.
The growing popularity of slot machines led to many improvements in their structure and operation.
They became lighter and more attractive, and manufacturers started giving them attractive themes to grab the attention and loyalty of the people who played them.
There was a small dip in their popularity around the time of the Great Depression, but slot machines truly came into their own after the Second World War.
Legendary casino mogul Bugsy Siegel was looking for a way to keep the wives and girlfriends of his high rollers busy so that they wouldn’t distract the men from the serious business of losing their money at the casino.
He installed slot machines all over the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and the rest is history. Slot machines started to earn as much money for the casino as the gambling tables.
Electromechanical slot machines were introduced in the 1960s and they were extremely bright and colourful.
They were also able to incorporate more pay lines than the older machines and this made them even more popular.
The next stage was the introduction of video slot machines. These machines do not have any moving parts although they are designed to look like the traditional machines that people have grown to love a lot.
In reality, these are video games and this enables manufacturers to provide many interactive elements such as bonus games.
Slot machines these days are run using microprocessors and the images that appear on the display are determined by a computer chip.
The results therefore, appear purely at random and it isn’t possible to do anything to determine the outcome of the game.
Video slot machines now have excellent themes and each one is unique and interesting. They are a lot more fun to play than the older types of slot machines and it is no surprise that they continue to be extremely popular in casinos.
The industry continues to put efforts into developing slot machines; some of the latest models come with joysticks and there are also linked machines where players are pitted against other players!