The Story Behind The Inventors Of The Slot Machine 


Slots date back to 1895 and this is believed to be the year that an actual working slot machine was rolled out to the public. Punters could have a spin on what was then an entirely new game that had never been seen before.

Luckily for Bavarian-born American inventor, Charles August Fey, the public was curious enough to make his mechanical slot machine a roaring success. Fey was a mechanic by trade and an inventor in his spare time. His slot machine was actually designed in his basement and his early efforts were successful enough for him to quit his day job.

This allowed him to concentrate on improving on his first slot machines that he invented – join to spin slots online today. He also could afford to create the perfect environment to do so, by opening his own factory.

Major Setbacks 

Fey eventually created a slot called the Card Bell and this consisted of 3-reels that mostly contained playing card symbols and payouts followed poker hand patterns. However, this led to the creation of his most popular slot ever. The Liberty Bell contained 5 symbols on 3-reels and these included horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and the bell from the slot title. Three Liberty Bells in a row offered a top payout of 10 nickels. This game was credited as being the first proper slot to be played widely by gamblers.  

Unfortunately, failure by Fey to patent his creation meant that other inventors created their own versions of these lever activated games. More bad luck fell on Fey in 1906 in the shape of a San Francisco earthquake that destroyed most of the 100 machines he had constructed. Other companies were quick to capitalize on his misfortunes and the Mills Novelty Company created their own version of his slot machines. 

Slot Machines and Gambling Bans 

Gambling in San Francisco was banned in 1909, however, by the time this ban was enforced, it was thought that over 3000 slot machines had been introduced to the public within the city. To keep these machines alive and legal during gambling bans, inventors modified their slot games into sweet dispensing machines. Obviously the symbols had to lose their association with gambling games and instead fruit symbols dominated and slots became known as fruit machines and vending machines. When the gambling ban ended, slots returned and kept the new symbols along with the traditional card face symbols.

Further Developments 

Slot machine production eventually relocated to Chicago and this saw the distribution of these games fall into the hands of organized crime gangs. Further turmoil came in the shape of world wars and slots had to wait until peace reigned once more, before they could develop further. Slots became great revenue makers for economies and this fueled the numbers being made available to the public. Eventually, the first electrical slot came to be and the first video slot followed this, in the 1970s. All this led to the main event the digital revolution that saw the invention of the first virtual video slot that was introduced online in 1996.