The history of slots: From land-based machines to online casinos
Over the years slots have gone through quite the transition and can now be played from anywhere on multiple devices. It wasn’t always like this though. Before online slots, this popular past-time was solely land-based.
In this article, we’ll talk about the origin of online slots. Furthermore, we’ll discuss how they have evolved over the years. Nowadays players can play slots for free by taking advantage of perks such as new online casino bonuses and promotions. After reading this article, you can use your bonuses and play online slots with your newfound knowledge of their origins!
The first land-based slot machines
In the year 1891, a New-York manufacturer by the name of Sittman and Pitt launched the first-ever gambling machine. It consisted of 5 drums that held a total of 50 card faces based on poker and had a side lever which was used to spin the drums. Although this machine proved to be very popular, it was a little complicated. A few years later, a young man named Charles Fey improved this by creating the first slot machine capable of automatic payouts. He replaced the original drums with 3 reels but kept the poker suits. He also added new symbols which included horse-shoes and a Liberty Bell – which was America’s symbol of independence. This machine, which Fey called the Liberty Bell, was well-received throughout the country. It was so successful that other manufacturers used Fey’s original idea and began to replicate it.
As the years rolled by, the slot machine underwent significant changes. In the year 1960, a company called Bally introduced the first electromechanical slot machine dubbed “Money Honey”. Not only did this machine payout bigger jackpots but its gameplay was far superior to its predecessors. Moreover, Bally’s machine trusted the slot machine into the future and, slowly but surely, the side lever became a thing of the past.
From video slots to online slots
The 1970s saw the introduction of video slots. They were first created by a Las Vegas-based company called Fortune Coin Co. It was from this point that graphical user interfaces (GUI) were implemented into slot machines. This would prove to be a key component for video slots, and further down the line, online slots.
Slot machines go online
Having been such a revolutionary invention, the internet brought with it a heap of changes to the modern world. Naturally, land-based casinos took advantage of this and began to make the switch from physical to digital. In 1994, a software company called Microgaming launched the first fully functioning online casino called “The Gaming Club”. It included classic games such as blackjack, roulette and the first online 3 by 5 reel slots.
A few years later, a company called Cryptologic launched its own online casino called “InterCasino”. They were also the first company that offered the first online money wager. Just a few short years later, Microgaming launched the first-ever online progressive jackpot slot which they called “Cash Splash”. At the dawn of a new century, in the early 2000s, Playtech became the first company to produce live dealer casino games.
As the years progressed, more and more companies launched online casinos. Each one aimed to improve on the ones that came before them. Nowadays, there are hundreds of online casinos that offer a plethora of online casino games including different kinds of slots and classic table games such as Poker.
What does the future hold for online casinos?
Slot machines have come a long way since Sittman and Pitt launched the first gambling machine. Nowadays, online casinos offer their players a variety of different promotions and bonuses in order to keep things fresh. Today players even have the option of playing their favourite slots on mobile or tablet – which is astonishing considering that just over 100 years ago, slot machines were quite simplistic.
With new technological advancements and the latest trends such as VR, the future of online slots seems bright. Virtual Reality has already made quite the impact on several media platforms and many are predicting that this technology will soon become the base of online casinos, thus taking it to a whole new level entirely.