Charles Fey, a creative and hardworking American inventor, started inventing, designing, and manufacturing slot machines from his San Francisco workshop in 1894. Charles Fey was later a pioneer in coin-operated gambling devices. He invented the first three-reel and bell slot machines in 1898.
As the basic design of the Liberty Bell design is still used in all online and mechanical slot machines, it is often considered the predecessor of modern slots. The simple mechanical devices with three old-style reels holding 20 symbols have evolved into microprocessor-controlled software with up to five spinning reels holding hundreds of symbols.
The Liberty Bell machine was quite different from today’s slots. The Liberty Bell machine, which was almost entirely made of cast iron, weighed in at over 100 lbs. Stars, horseshoes and suits of cards were some of the symbols that were integrated into the reels.
Charles Fey’s next installment was the Operator Bell Slot Machine. He used a different fruit this time to create the symbols. Bell Fruit created the “fruit machines” that paid out fruit-flavoured chewing tobacco to the winners. This was in addition to coins. Today, the BAR symbol is still used. It was originally created by Bell Fruit to promote their own chewing gum brand.
After the ban on slot machines was implemented, Bugsy Siegel, a notorious crime boss, built Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas Strip. He also placed many slot machines within the hall. This was done to keep his wealthy clients’ wives and girlfriends busy while they played the more serious casino games.
The exposure made slots very popular, and manufacturers realized the great future of slot machines. Electronic slots were soon produced, making slots more popular than ever before. This led to the creation of different slot machine versions.
The electronic chip was used by the slot manufacturers in the 70’s to control when the machines would stop. Because the micro-chips gave the house a greater edge, all casinos used them in the 80’s. The USA became a hugely popular place for slot machines, and the rest of the world soon followed suit. Today, it is said that casino slots machines make up 70% to 80% of all casinos’ total revenue.
Although the rules of slots have changed over the past 20 years, moving from large machines to online versions, the core principles of the game remain the same and they continue to win the hearts of thousands every day.