The development of early slot machines to modern online casinos


The slot machines have made the delight of many, and not players. After all, who would have thought that the first slot machine in the world would have become an iconic object after more than a century?

But what lies behind the famous “Fruit Machine” of the United Kingdom, the classic slot machines of the United States, or the poker machines in Australia? All these devices have a very long and colorful story to tell.

Since their inception, slot machines have actually come a long way, precisely since in 1895, a German immigrant, Charles Frey, VCR the first slot machine in the world, which would have been defined as ” on-armet bandit “.

Currently, fans of the genre can choose from a wide range of slots provided by companies that, in addition to depopulation in the terrestrial sector, have also begun to dominate the digital sector with the advent of the Internet and the explosion of online gaming platforms.

The early years: The era of Liberty Bells and Charles Frey

The first slot was created back in 1891, in New York, by Sittman and Pitt. The two pioneers have developed a gaming machine that in the coming years would be considered the ancestor of modern slots. This prototype was actually a mechanical device based on poker and represented the answer to the question of how to automate the famous card game.

In 1895 Charles Frey, a German immigrant, developed a machine with three spinning reels and this long before the slot machines featured the five symbols: hearts, diamonds, horseshoes, spades and the Liberty Bell. This device has been dubbed ” one-armed bandit “.

In the same period, the Liberty Bell became the first symbol of the jackpot and three of these in a row represented the highest winnings ever for this type of slot. The same machine provided winnings in the form of fruit-flavored rubbers and for this reason, the theme of fruit in the symbols is still very common today.

The Liberty Bell machine became so popular that Frey could not keep up with the question. In 1907, Herbert Mills created another machine called Operator Bell, and many of these were installed in saloons, cigar shops, and other places.

The next phase in the real history of slot machines saw the introduction of the Fruit Machine, produced in 1912 by the Fruit Gum Company. The card symbols on the reels were replaced by fruit images, such as cherries, watermelons, apples, bars, oranges.

The next generation

In 1943, two years before the end of the Second World War, Harry Williams founded WMS Industries. The company itself is now called WMS Gaming, a leading company in the production and development of land and digital casino games.

Twenty years later, in 1963, Bally Technologies Inc developed Money Honey, the world’s first electromechanical slot machine. This invention marked a new milestone in the development of slot machines, not only as regards the innovation of the mechanical side but also for the integration of electronics into the design. This symbiosis has greatly improved the gameplay, in addition to the addition of a system called ” multi-coin bet ” that gave higher payouts.

The richest jackpots and aesthetic changes such as flashing lights meant that this new type of slot machine quickly became popular among casino players.

Before the advent of electromechanical slot machines, card and table games were the most popular, but slot machines were now just stepping away from the conquest of the gambling world.

Microchip Technology

The ’80s and’ 90s were characterized by the appearance of the microchips, technology that has brought further improvements in the slot world.

The very first video lot in the world, which officially debuted in 1975, was developed by Walt Fraley and was called Fortune Coin. This type of slot machine was well ahead of its time so that at first the gamblers proved to be very wary of the new technology and computerized reels on the screen.

The Fortune Coin patent was bought by IGT in 1976, which thanks to a phase of further development and the application of an intelligent marketing strategy, has ensured that the slot machine category began to prosper.

This technology has allowed owners to connect multiple active slots to different games rooms. The first progressive slot machine was invented in 1986 by IGT; she was called Megabucks.

The era of the internet

Digital literacy, the creativity of software developers, and the rise of the Internet have given rise to a new phenomenon, that of online slots.

Just as the name suggests, these slots have become real online games and a player can access them from his computer while sitting at a desk or on the sofa at home.

The 1990s saw the emergence in the market of some emerging companies in the development of slots, among which stand out Novomatic and Incredible Technologies. The 21st century then expanded the field of action bringing more competitors into the market. Microgaming, Play’N’Go, Igrosoft, Konami, Playtech, Nextgen Gaming, Gaming Ash.

The last decade of the twentieth century marked the birth of the first gambling commission and the granting of the first licenses for online casino operators in the Antigua and Barbudaarchipelago.

In 2001, the Isle of Man, Alderney, and Gibraltar also granted the first licenses to international operators. 2005 saw the approval of the Gambling Act in the UK and the entry of other software developers into the market, among which Amaya stands out. The United States approved the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006, and 865 online casinos were already operating on the Internet in 2010.

And that’s how it all started

1891: The first slot prototype was created in 1891, in New York, by Sittman and Pitt.

1895: In 1895 Charles Frey, a German immigrant, developed a machine with three spinning reels called one-armed bandit.

1907: Herbert Mills created another machine called Operator Bell.

1912: Fruit Gum Company produces a slot called Fruit Machine.

1930: The first machine was launched by the company Jennings in 1930, and with it began the era of slot machines that paid with winnings in cash rather than in candy.

1943: Harry Williams founds “WMS Industries”, which is currently an important part of the well-known “WMS Gaming”.Which is the Casumo casino, you can find a very detailed Casumo review on

1990: 7 main developers are born, including IGT and Novomatic.

1994: Antigua and Barbuda approve the law of free trade and production (Free Trade and Processing Act), granting the first licenses to some online casinos.

2000: Microgaming, Igrosoft, NetEnt, Konami, Play’s GO and 12 other companies enter the market.

2001: The Isle of Man, Alderney, and Gibraltar begin to grant licenses.

2005: England approves the Gambling Act and 13 other companies are born, including Amaya.

2006: UIGEA – Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is born.

2010: The gambling market definitely explodes. 865 online casino platforms and over 50 slot machine developers are active worldwide.

But what happened after 2010?

Currently, more than 60 companies are active in the development of slot machines around the world: 14% in North America, 65% in Europe, 11% in Russia and 7% in Australia.

There are over 6000 types of slot spread in the gambling market. Among the biggest producers are Microgaming, NextGen, GloboTech, and Novomatic.