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History of slot machines


The first slot machine

The very first slot machine, which was also called “one-armed bandit”, was a creation by Charles Frey.

This German mechanic, created in 1897, in the city of San Francisco, one of the most famous devices in the world to win money. His first creation had been named “Liberty Bell” and its functioning system was quite similar to the current one, since three rollers make rotate 5 symbols.

The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is worldly recognised to be the modern slot machine. It is characterised by a revolutionary mechanic system and it is not made of wood anymore, but it is made of metal and it is less voluminous. The three rollers of Charles Frey’s machine are marked with 10 symbols each and can this create up to 1000 different combinations.

The success achieved by these machines has been really significant until the ‘20s.

With the prohibition, gambling and thus these machines called “rollers machine” became illegal but their functioning system ended to be applied to dispensers of candies. It is for this reason, by the way, that some contemporary slot machines still have symbols with fruits.

Frey’s Liberty Bell has been copied several times and its functioning system remained the same until the ‘60s. Thereafter, this invention has been replaced, little by little, with a new type of slot machine featured by more advanced techniques and technologies. Electromechanical slot machines made by the inventor of flipper Bally and slot machines with video have thus replaced the Liberty Bell in the ‘80s.

In 1963 Bally readjusted and modified Frey’s slot machine and produced important improvements in the mechanics of the rollers, the inside lighting, the payment methods through tokens’ redistribution and also the possible variety of games.

Slot Machines in France

The use of slot machines was allowed in France after 1986. However, only since 1992 their presence in the territory has increased. Nowadays, we have only 6 casinos without slot machines, out of the 176 within the territory. In France we have a total of around 17000 slot machines, each of those brings an amount of 150000 euros per year to the casino, which represents the 90% of the total entries in a French land-based casino.

Slot Machines Online

Nowadays you can find slot machines not only in land-based casinos, since there are thousands available online. Technical evolutions are so considerable that today’s players can experience several variations of the game: simple and progressive jackpots, video slot machines, slot machines connected to a network, etc.

Design, themes, sound and many other elements of slot machines have changed and evolved over the time and have transformed them in one of the most popular games in the world, both in land-based and online casinos.