From one-armed bandit to multi-billion dollar industry
Slot machines have been around for more than 120 years. Although the first slot machine is very different from today’s video slots, the principle has always remained the same. The player bets a certain amount, the reels spin and you then hope for a certain combination. Nowadays, videoslots are the most popular games in online casinos and gambling establishments. However, this was not always the case, because the first video slots could not convince all players. Let’s take a look at the history of slot machines and how they evolved into the video slots popular today.
History of video slots
In 1891, Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York, developed a slot machine based on poker. It contained 5 drums with a total of fifty cards. Although this was one of the first slot machines, it was the Liberty Bell in 1895 that led to the popularity of modern slot machines. Charles Fey designed a machine with three spinning reels, a lever on the side, and a slot for inserting coins. Due to the popularity of Liberty Bell, many companies such as Herbert Mills and Ball Industries played key roles in the development of slots. Bally in particular was able to score with innovations.
Source: Screenshot, GTA5, Rockstar Games
The breakthrough of video slots
But it wasn’t until 1975 that Fortune Coin Company introduced the first video slot. This was called Fortune Coin Videoslot and was the first slot machine to be played on a video screen. Unfortunately, the Company, as well as several subsequent companies, were not overly successful in creating the three-reel experience. In order to attract players, videoslots had to offer a different gaming experience.
This came about when Bally introduced Game Maker in 1994. It was a video slot consisting of several game types: slot, poker and blackjack. This was the first video slot to noticeably gain popularity. Later, Aristocrat Technologies produced a five-reel videoslot with bonus events (mostly consisting of free spins), which inspired gamemakers to create their own videoslots with bonuses.
Popularity of video slots
The popularity of video slots has increased tremendously over the years. But how did this happen? In the early days, spinning the reels and pulling the lever was enough to satisfy players. This is no longer the case today. In fact, the increasing interest in video slots goes hand in hand with the internet and online casinos. With these websites, everyone could easily access the different games and slots from home. Providers such as JackpotCity online casino today offer a variety of themed video slots such as ancient Egypt and Greek gods. Exactly this variety convinces in the entertainment industry.
Furthermore, the improvement of technology also had an impact on the video slot market: video slots come with animation, music and sound effects, so playing video slots brought a whole new experience. Another important popularity factor is increasing the number of paylines. Old slot machines were limited to one payline, which meant that the player needed three matching symbols in the middle to win. Many video slots these days have multiple paylines, which is now considered standard in the industry and makes the gaming experience even more exciting.
Today, the online casino industry is considered one of the most successful in the field of entertainment. This is mainly thanks to the video slot and its history, among other innovations.