Hey, there gamers put away your 5 Wishes and your Achilles Deluxe, it’s story time. It’s a tale as old as time. Well, as old as the first slot machine. Yep, it’s a short history of slots! Let’s get started.
The Liberty Bell
Let’s pull back to 1894 and set the scene. Once upon a time, in San Francisco, there lived a German-born mechanic with an interest in all kinds of inventions. His name was Charles Fey and he just made a three-reel machine that will change the course of the history of slots forever. Thus, the Liberty Bell came to be.
And it was promptly banned with the prohibition movement in the U.S. fully in swing. But the slots (which were played with a single nickel at the time) were remodeled and marketed toward the younger demographic. Out were the card symbols and the nickels and in were the fruit symbols and the correspondingly flavored candy.
Money Honey and the “21”
It appears we have 2 (3?) hires to the ye old fruit machine. The weakest claimant is funnily enough the eldest one. In 1934 the first console gambling machine powered by an electric motor was PACES RACES. But this machine lacked reels plus had no levers and to top it all, was a horse betting simulator. No, thanks! But would you look at that, gambling is legal again (U.S.) and slots machines are back in vogue!
Coming back to slots, we got our two reaming heirs, the Nevada electronics “21” and Bally’s Money Honey neck to neck. Both were made in 1963 and their reels were operated by an electric motor which made mechanical levers obsolete.
But the Money Honey kept the lever, which might be the reason why it’s still remembered while the “21” languishes in obscurity. We will see why the lever is important in just the moment.
So, in 1976, the first fully-fledged video slot was produced by Fortune Coin Company and placed in Hilton hotel, Vegas. But it wasn’t a time for celebration. People were still performing the old mechanical and electro-mechanical slots over the new video slots. This was probably caused by the lack of understanding of how these worked and general skepticism about their fairness. Enter, Si Redd a slot engineer who managed Bally’s slot distributions, who subsequently went to form Sircoma (IGT) in 1975.
Bailey granted Redd a few patents for the machine he had been working on, most notably Draw poker. After that, it was off to the races. Redd went to acquire Fortune Coin, popularized Draw poker and figured out how to make the first progressive jackpot machines. It’s no wonder that he is called “the king of slot machines”.
Finally, it was time to say goodbye. To whom? Well to our old friend – the lever, of course. It’s 1994 and the Internet revolution is in full swing. It’s the birthdate of internet slots as we know them. Which one? Well, we don’t know. There are so many claimants, but Microgaming is the biggest of them, so we are going with their title Cash Splash.
On the other side of the world, the Aussies decide to tape two screens together, making the first multiscreen slot. The first Internet Casino, Internet Gaming Inc. came online in 1996 and changed casinos and, the history of slots in general, forever. A shift was in place and by the decade online casinos became more and more popular, surpassing their land-based counterparts.
So, that was a fun story, wasn’t it? It’s good to be on the winning team. Let’s celebrate that fact by playing some Bubble Bubble 3 or Princess Warrior at crypto casino Yabby. Cheers!