From the mechanical to the video slot

Have you ever though, as you tap your mobile phone screen and spin those reels at Slotzo once more: where did the very concept of a slot machine even come from?

Outdating even those flickering fruit machines that are still alive in pubs and bars up and down the country, the slot machine has been around for over a hundred years in one way or another. The gambling format has an interesting history, existing through times when gambling was an illegal pastime, through to the invention of video games and the electronic, online age in which they exist now.

If you are into your slot games and into your history, you have come to the right place as here we have a brief history of the slot machine. From the humble beginnings to the all action video productions of today, here is a step by step guide from the invention to the modern online slot as we know it.

 The first slot machine 

The beginnings of the slot machine date back to the 19th century as, in 1894, an American inventor born in Bavaria is accredited with building the first machine of it’s kind.

August Fey was based in San Francisco, and his innovative invention was the first coin operated slot machine known and would of course pave the way for one of the most popular formats of gambling in the world.

Back then, cash prizes coming out of the machine itself were not possible and rather than monetary prizes, winners would be able claim free drinks and cigars from the bar instead. We have come a long way in the last 125 years.

When slot machines got banned 

In 1902, slot machines were officially banned as a result of strict gambling laws in the US. As a result, a shift was made from gambling to simply being a fun game to play.

Now aimed at children a little more, prizes were chewing gum and candy, with flavours corresponding to the winning fruit symbols on the reels. This is how the fruit machine was born.

Electronic fruit machines 

By the 1960s, gambling was back and technology was booming.

The first electronic slot machines were introduced in 1964, using a level to activate their reels still. Entering casinos around this time, they became hugely popular very quickly and avid slot game players were dubbed ‘one arm bandits’ due to the nature of how you play these slots.

The modern age 

Video slot emerged in the 1970s but compared to the technological advancements made in the 90s, the wheel, or more so the reels, had been reinvented.

The internet allowed for these games to be online and accessible easily, eventually leading to the smartphone market that dominates today. Furthermore, cheat and error proof slot gams, made so thanks to top of the range software, means that gambling is safe and secure for both gamblers and casinos.

With the likes of VR slot games on the horizon and multiplayer slots emerging, the slot game is still evolving.