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A Journey through History: A technological timeline of the Slot Machine

A Journey through History: A technological timeline of the Slot Machine image

A Journey through History: A technological timeline of the Slot Machine

If you were to head online today you would see hundreds of virtual casinos offering a range of regular and themed slot machine games. While this adequately proves that slot machine gaming has made a successful transition from the real to the virtual world, however, it does not underline how the game has evolved in terms of its wider perception. Once considered to be a low-brow game for opportunists, it is now accepted as a game of skills that ranks alongside roulette and blackjack as a casino classic.

Given the incredible journey that slot machine gaming has undertaken, let’s take a look at some of the seminal events that have defined its history: 

Humble Beginnings and the Worlds’ First Slot Machines

While there are some counterclaims, Charles Fey’ iconic Liberty Bell machine is widely recognised as the worlds’ first slot game. Featuring three reels, fruit, playing card symbols and a jackpot image that resembled a cracked Liberty Bell, Fey’s machine featured an integrated coin acceptor and was even decorated with a dedicated pay-out table. It is extremely impressive in terms of its aesthetic design, and players will be impressed at how modern and electronic slot machines have stayed true to these original constructional elements.

Electronics, Micro-processors, and New Horizons

While there were various technological adaptations during the formative part of the 20th century, it was not until 1964 that slot machines evolved to the next level. More specifically they entered the age of electronics, where micro-processors were incorporated as a central design feature and he user experience was improved as a result. These machines produced random outcomes that were determined by this processor, with the result that they were fairer, more secure and less vulnerable to malevolent or unscrupulous operators. The design of these machines also enabled them to hold more money, meaning that they could deliver larger pay-outs to players.

Television Screens and the Digital Age

The rate of technological advancement was becoming more pronounced at this juncture, and it was soon after in 1974 when designer Walt Freely created a machine that included a television screen. This was the first example of a video slot machine, and type of digital gaming experience that is now replicated so effectively online. The first slot game of this type was entitled Fortune Coin, and in addition to an audio-visual screen it also offered more restrictive odds, lower pay-outs and enhanced security features.

When you consider that slot machine gaming now contributes an estimated £5 billion to the UK market alone, its journey has clearly been an impressive one. It is even likely to become more impressive over time, as online slots become increasingly lucrative and diverse in terms of their design.