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The History of Slots

The term, ‘slot machine’ once referred to all gambling devices and vending machines. Since the turn of last century however, the term has become synonymous with gambling machines. Slots, ‘liberty bell machines’, ‘fruit’ machines, ‘one armed bandits’ are all terms commonly used to refer to slot machines.

The first coin operated machines were based on poker, and the player was able to pull a side lever and watch the rotating drums. If the player ‘won’, a small prize was provided by the bar keep or store owner.

The inventor of the automatic cash payout system was Charles Fey, whose design set the standard for the production of all future 3-reel machines.

Fruit style reels machines were introduced to the public around 1912. Fruit machines were created to push the limit on anti-gambling laws and were referred to as vending machines instead of gambling machines. Colourful, bright fruits on the reels replaced the more common symbols such as hearts, spades and diamonds. Fruit machines ‘paid out’ fruit flavoured gums instead of coins.

Throughout the 20th century, slot machines grew in popularity and the sky was the limit when it came to producing colourful and inviting themes. Manufacturers would purchase the rights to use trademarked graphics that would appeal to players. Eventually, slot machines were created to be able to accept and distribute paper tickets instead of coins or tokens. The variety of games offered today at the Casino of the Rockies includes: 3-reel interactive, progressive, video poker, electronic blackjack, electronic roulette, and we even have a ‘big bertha’! Currently, the online gaming industry is growing in popularity at an incredible rate. What does the future of slot machines look like? Time will tell.