Slots machines date back to 1895 and this is when it is thought that a mechanic named Charles Fey first invented the very first coin slot machine. The Mills Liberty Bell was a three reels slot that contained 5 symbols that included horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell. This helped influence the name of the slot and three bells in a row paid out the top prize of 10 nickels. The popularity of this slot led to further machines being created, in fact, New Yorkers Sittman and Pitt developed an even more sophisticated slot that consisted of 5 drums and a total of 50 card faces. It is believed to be the earliest slot design to be closest to the games we still click to play today. The popularity of these machines meant that the interest in developing slot games continued and advancements were made with every technological breakthrough that came along.
The 1960s and 70s
In 1963 the first electrical slot appeared on the scene and this was the beginning of the end for traditional mechanical slots. In 1976 the first video slot was invented, this was the first time a slot machine had totally moved away from its mechanical predecessors. This machine used a modified 19-inch Sony TV screen for the display. Customers of the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel were some of the first to try it. This slot needed some modifications to prevent cheating and was then rolled out to the masses once it got approval by the Nevada State Gaming Commission.
The next major changes in the slots industry were witnessed in 1996. However, the changes that occurred here did not only change slots, they altered the entire gambling industry. The 1990’s introduced the world to digital technology and the potential it offered the world of entertainment was exciting to say the least.
In 1996 the gambling industry utilized the potential of the new digital age and introduced the first online casino. This offered the public traditional table games like Blackjack and Roulette. However, developments did not stop there and it wasn’t long before WMS Industries Inc released the first online video slot called Reel Em. This was the first ever slot to feature a second screen bonus and it paved the way for the video slots we have now.
The Next Decade From Now
What is clear to see from the history of the slot machine is that changes and advances were gradual until the digital revolution of 1996. Since this has occurred, technological breakthroughs have become more frequent and now literally anything is possible in the next 10 years. With more powerful computers and sophisticated computer software, slots will inevitably advance further. Graphics will continue to improve and virtual reality slots will become more common. One thing that isn’t clear is what will be the next trend once Megaways slots become the norm. One thing that is clear however is that slots are here to stay and will only continue to improve until they offer a complete immersive gambling experience.