Online Slot Machine History

From the beginnings and an idea of a man in his basement. Let’s look at the online slot machine history and what is has become.

Idea in 1895

A long time ago (the summer and fall of 1895), a man named Charles Fey was in the basement of his home in San Francisco tinkering with different ideas on how to build a machine that would thrill people so much with its bells and chimes that they would pay to see them spin.

Slot Machine of Iron

A machine if you will, made of iron and full of gold, gold coins that is.

Coins that would be placed inside its belly by total strangers because they are trying to make the big iron machine spit them back out. Of course they hope to double or even triple the original amount! This big iron machine would need a place located somewhere on its body where players can insert their money. Then they then could spin the reels of the iron monster and wait for the spitting to begin!

This opening on the iron beast was known as a “slot” starting the history of the “slot machine”! Fey designed this first slot machine right in his basement and it weighed over 100 pounds and was made of cast iron.

First Slot is Named

To become more accepted the first slot needed a name.

He named the game “Liberty Bell” and it paid players a 50 cent prize for their winning spins. Not a pretty slot machine and it weighed much too heavy to become popular among the Vegas crowd, but it did get the beginning of the slot era started.

Online Slot Machine History Shows First Slot

Below is an image of the Liberty Bell one of the first in a line of slot machines from history, long before they were available online.

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Original Slot Still Exists

If you are ever visiting Nevada, this famous Liberty Bell original slot machine can still be viewed in Reno at the Liberty Belle Saloon.

Development Only Beginning

Mr. Fey once again went down to his basement and made magic happen again, with a desire to improve his development work.

This time the slot game was lighter, more attractive and had colorful fruits as symbols on the game> The latest iteration with the fruit symbols became the first in a long history of slot machines. Many of the early ideas of Mr. Fey became a part of the gambling industry as it is today.

Accepted in Vegas

Vegas loved the new looks and size of these slots and the next ones Fey created and started using them in their casinos in the years to come.

During the time frame the anti-gambling movement succeeded in getting slot machines banned in most states around 1911. Even the Mayor of New York at the time, Mayor LaGuardia, did a photo op with others while throwing New York City’s slot machines into the sea!

Las Vegas and Slot Machine Popularity Was About To Change

It would not be long and was inevitable that Las Vegas and the popularity of gaming and slots would change.

For years Vegas and some of the surrounding area had already become synonymous with gambling. Illegal gambling had already become well established.

Knowing that gambling itself could help local businesses thrive local government got involved. Then the Nevada state legislature legalized gambling at the local level in 1931.

Enter Bugsy Siegel

One person was about to turn everything around for gambling and the very popular slot machines. That man was Bugsy Siegel.

He went into Vegas and finished construction of the Flamingo Hotel and was officially finished the day after Christmas, in 1946.

Unique in design and the lobby of the hotel was lined with slot machines of all different types. It was originally thought he did this to keep the wives of his gangster buddies and government officials busy while the men took care of business. He only used these slot machines as toys and pacifiers for the wives, but the women turned the slot machines into a popular and fun pastime!

Slots Became the Asset

History is common knowledge from this point on and slots have become a huge financial assets to all casinos whether online or land based.

Once upon a time they used to be mechanical, iron and weighed hundreds of pounds. Now slot machines are electronic, lightweight and even small enough to put in your pocket when purchasing your own to enjoy for fun. Slot machines online are even more creative and get better and better as the days and m months go by.

Recap of Online Slot Machine History

Below is a quick recap of the timeline of the slot machine history which led to the online slot machine.

  • The First Slot Machine Named the Liberty Bell, this slot built by Charles Fey in his basement in 1895.
  • New Century Sees Much Slot Growth By the turn of the century the popularity of the slot had grown and more varieties were being developed and more companies wanted in on the action.
  • Banned in 1911 The anti-gambling movement had seen most states ban slot machines and gambling by 1911.
  • Flamingo Hotel Opens in Las Vegas Way over budget and after opening once, closing due to lack of funding and construction delays. Finally the first luxury hotel on the strip, the Pink Flamingo Hotel and Casino finally opens in March 1947. To this day, the Flamingo is the oldest hotel and casino still operating on the “Las Vegas Strip” today.
  • Micro Processors Introduced During the 1960’s, the slot machine saw the introduction of the micro-processor added to them to determine the outcome of the spin.
  • Multi Line Slots Developed During the 1990’s the slot indsustry had huge growth fueled in part by new multi-line slot versions. This allowed for higher betting amounts as well as faster and larger payouts and increased excitement.
  • Computer Industry Revolutionizes Slot Machines With the explosive growth and advancements in computer technology and software, slot machines became more advanced with more features and appeals to even larger audiences.
  • What the Future Holds With the technological advancements in programming many new features such as cascading symbols and bonus rounds have been introduce. What may the future hold with online slot machines?

Research for a portion of this articles is from the Slot Machine History wiki.

Beyond the History Slot Machines Online Growth Unsurpassed

Far beyond the expectations of the developers and casino owners, the growth of the online slot industry has been unprecedented.

Most online casinos of today present and promote their slots over and above most of their other games. Even those casinos that focus their brands on table games, or even a specific table game offer slot machines since the popularity exceeds all expectations.

History of Online Slot Machines Defined

We have tried to define the specifics and timeline of the history of slot machines and how the growth online continues to skyrocket.

Although intriguing, rather then dwell on what started the boom in slot machines, why not visit a few casinos and play slots online yourself?


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