Slot games are the centre of attraction in every land-based and online casino. The game has amassed wide popularity amongst punters due to its vast payouts and beautiful gaming experience.
The term “slot” originated from the slit in the machines through which people inserted a coin to place their wager. However, slot machines have now evolved into online slot games that no longer involve the slotting of coins.
This article will walk you through the evolution of online slot machines and their rise to popularity. Read on to learn more.
The Foundation of Online Slot Machines
These days you can play slots for free and enjoy yourself without worrying about your money being lost in gambling. However, where did the whole idea of slot machines originate?
Slot machines can be traced back to the 19th century when Hero of Alexandria, an Egyptian Engineer, created the first vending machine. It was channelled to dispense a regulated amount of holy water from a temple.
The design of this machine was the idea behind subsequent vending machines and gave birth to the slot machines we see in modern-day land-based casinos. However, the appearance and functions have been modified over the years. The following is the progression of slot machines, which precede online slots.
- In 1891, a NewYork-based company – Sittmatt and Pitt, invented the gambling machine that preceded the first slot machine. The machine became popular in bars-but it lacked a direct payout system. Gamblers had to claim whatever prizes they won from the bar.
- Between 1887 and 1895, Charles Augustus Fey – an Engineer based in San Francisco, California, built a slot machine that accommodated an automatic payout system. The Liberty Bell recorded a massive success and instigated a thriving gaming industry.
- Herbert Mills created the Operator bell machine based on Fey’s design. It dispensed gums instead of cash, eluding the ban on gambling. Hence, it was pivotal to the popularity and history of slot machines.
- In 1964, the first electromechanical slot – the Money Honey machine was created by Bally.
- The Atari company introduced the Pong video game in 1971.
- The Fortune Coin company created the first video slot machine known as the Fortune Coin in 1976.
- In 1986, Megabucks – a slot machine with the inclusion of a progressive jackpot was introduced by IGT.
Slot machines have been continuously modified to suit users’ preferences and provide a better gaming experience. Now, we have online slot machines where people can enjoy playing slot games without leaving the comfort of their homes. All you need to do is join an online casino, and you can play to your heart’s content!
Evolution of Online Slot Machines
The rise of the Internet in the early 1990s came with the evolution of many industries, and gaming was no exception.
Microgaming established the first online casino in the mid-1990s. At first, these casinos only offered classic games like roulette and Blackjack. However, it didn’t take long for online slot machines to be available. It soon became the most-played casino game and the highest source of revenue for online casinos.
In 1996, the first 2nd screen video slot game, namely “Reel’em in,” was introduced by WMS industries. It came with advanced tech that allowed gamers to play a bonus round on a new screen. Many players appreciated this; hence online casinos took the initiative to provide free spins and deposit bonuses. This way, more players were encouraged to stake their money in online slot machines.
A few years later, Microgaming came up with another critical innovation. They introduced the first jackpot online slot game with the name Cash Splash. It had bigger payouts than the original jackpots played in traditional casinos. Therefore, it attracted a lot of punters who took advantage of it to make income using just their computers.
Online slots did not take long to advance from computers to mobile phones. Game providers quickly integrated the wireless application software that arrived with the first set of mobile phones – this way, people could download and play slots on their phones.
The software developers gave titles based on casinos to individual games, and each game provider was able to collect their payments via SMS. However, there was no way for players to bet on the games.
The arrival of smartphones resolved the former setback. It brought about proper video slot machines, and players could now place their wagers on games using their mobile phones: this modification led to the appraisal and increased popularity of online slot machines. The main attraction is that you can play your favourite games from any location at any time!
The gaming industry has taken full advantage of the Internet to provide online casinos where people can play slot games. This optimal use of technology has increased the popularity of slot machines and games.
However, it is essential to note that the popularity of slot machines didn’t start today. It comes from a long line of history which we have summarised in this article.