A history of online slots
Fruit machines, pokies or simply just slot machines, they all came from somewhere and today we are going to talk about the history of online slots.
All slots have come a long way since the very first traditional machines back in the 1900’s. Since then, modern slots have added many features to the charm of the older slots. So when did online slots become a thing and how did they transition over from the classic slot?
Before we get to online slots, let’s find out be going back to the start.
The very first slot machines were invented by Charles Fey in the nineteenth century, California. This slot was called Liberty Bell and featured three reels and a handful of symbols. Since then, the Bell stuck around and became a classic symbol in modern slots.
Slots go back even further than Liberty Bell. Read The history of video slot symbols article to find out what came before.
At about the same time as Charles Fey’s creation, Sittman and Pitt developed their own slot machine. This one offered a more familiar five reels but back then, it wasn’t as popular as Fey’s slot machines.
These early slot machines offered a single payline that would determine the gambler’s winnings based on the combination of symbols. They grew in popularity inside bars and pubs even though winnings were very small, sometimes even just sticks of gum. We discuss where the gum comes from in the same article mentioned above: The history of video slot symbols.
Then came the first electromechanical and video slot machines.
Back in early 1960, Bally Manufacturing developed Money Honey, the first electromechanical slot machine, what we also grew to call the one-armed bandit because slots take away your money.
It was only a decade after this invention that Future Coin Company launched the first video slot. This was the first time for a graphical interface to be used to display symbols on the reels. This started a fast growth of new symbols and paylines on the reels. It also gave companies to be more in control over the games’ odds.
Video slots could also offer additional features like Free Spins, bonus rounds and extra gambling options that were previously not available to gamblers.
The first online slots came soon after.
The first online casino became available in the 1990s led by a company called Microgaming, the same company who would invent the first online slot. The first online slot was a video slot made to be played over the internet which made much more accessible.
It wasn’t just more accessible, but more convenient too. When cellphones started gaining access to the internet as well, casinos made their slots available to mobile devices too. These online slots could also feature better visuals, unique sounds and even more unique features.
Since online slots didn’t have to pay staff or building maintenance, it also allowed for a much higher payout percentage. This has made online slots a go-to for many gamblers.
Responsible gambling has become even more important.
Because online slots and other casino games offered online are so much more accessible, the importance of responsible gambling couldn’t be any higher. These games are unfortunately made to be addictive and like most addictions, can hurt you.
There is no shame in having an issue with gambling though, the fault is in the game, but it’s still up to you to get better.
If you or anyone you know is showing signs of gambling addiction, please read our article Pro tips: Responsible gambling.