History of Slots

The slot machine was invented back in 1895 by an American named Charles Fey. But it wasn’t until 1907 that his invention truly hit the big time. The initial success behind the new game came as a result of Fey’s partnering up with the Mills Novelty Company, the firm that manufactured the first official Slot machine which became affectionately known as ‘Mills Liberty Bell.’

One hundred years later and Fey’s concept is still been enjoyed by millions of Slots lovers all around the globe. The number and variety of games has exploded in conjunction with the Internet gambling boom that’s spawned hundreds of online casinos, and this, folks, is only the beginning. Online Slots history is only just being written and indeed the future is wide open with respect to the exciting ways in which Charles Fey’s fantastic invention will evolve from here on out.

American Charles Fey is credited with inventing the slot machine in 1895. He went on to perfect his initial innovation in 1907, when he teamed up with the Mills Novelty Company, which manufactured the “Mills Liberty Bell.” The Liberty Bell featured a cast-iron case and originally had cast-iron feet with toes. In later models the toes were scrapped and replaced with ornately decorated feet. However, the era of cast-iron slot machines then ended in 1915 when Mills replaced them with much less expensive wood cabinets. In the 1930s, the Mills Novelty Company made a number of changes to its line of slot machines that would ultimately revolutionize the industry.

The machines then gained even more popularity in Las Vegas in the late 1940s when Bugsy Siegel placed several hundred of them in his Flamingo Hilton with the original intention of entertaining wives and girlfriends of high-rollers. Interestingly enough, today many high-rollers, both male and female, are Slot players.

Virtually anyone who visits a casino, even for the first time, is familiar with a slot machine and how it operates: just put in your money, pull the handle and wait a few seconds to see if you win. One of the most appealing aspects of playing the slots is the fact that it isn’t intimidating like most table games where you really need some knowledge of the rules before you play. It’s this basic simplicity that accounts for much of the success of slot machines in the modern American casino.

As a matter of fact, slot machines are the biggest money-maker for casinos with approximately 60 to 65 percent of the average casino’s profits being generated by the activity. Just to give you an idea of the scale we are talking about here: in the state of Nevada’s fiscal year ending June 30, 1998 the total combined earnings of casinos was a little more than $7.8 billion. Of that amount, slightly more than $5 billion, or about 64 percent, was from slot machine winnings.