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A short history of slot machines in Las Vegas

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If you walk into a casino, whether it be a land-based venue or virtually at your favourite online site, you’ll likely find the singing slot machines make up the majority of the floor.

Slot casino games have been popular since the first one was developed between 1887-1895, and since then, they have become more accessible than ever before, with gaming developers creating a huge variety of Slots for you to enjoy.

With Las Vegas being one of the world’s casino capitals, join us as we take a look at the history of some of the most popular games, in one of the world’s most popular places for casino gaming…

The first slot machine

As mentioned above, the first slot machine to allow automated payouts was created between 1887-1895 by Charles Augustus Fey. Using five drums, three reels and just five symbols, Fey created the Liberty Bell.

Despite this popular creation, Fey did not apply for a patent for his design, and so it was copied by many other slot machine manufacturers over the years.

The Operator Bell, created in 1907 by Chicago-based manufacturer Herbert Mills, rose further in popularity. This machine was commonly found in most tobacconists, bowling alleys and shops.

Going electric

The next major development in the world of Slots came in 1964. Bally released the first fully electromechanical slot called Money Honey. It was the first slot with a bottomless hopper, meaning it could make an automatic payout of up to 500 coins.

The Las Vegas Strip

It was also around this time that the Las Vegas Strip was making a name for itself in bright, neon lights.

In the 1930s, thousands of people began flocking to Las Vegas due to the great depression, as well as opportunities for work due to the building of the Hoover Dam.

In 1941, the first casino resorts started opening on the section of the highway that later became known as the Strip. The 1960s saw a thriving city, filled with development projects, nightclubs and thousands of people travelling from far and wide to try their chances and dress to impress.

This was also the time that Viva Las Vegas starring Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret debuted, displaying the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas and Hollywood for those who hadn’t yet experienced the Strip for themselves.

The celebrity, music and entertainment scene boomed, and it was only right that the first video slot would spin into Sin City at the same time.

Video Slots in Vegas

Manufactured in Kearny Mesa California by Las Vegas-based company Fortune Coin, the first true video slot used a modified 19-inch television for the colourful display.

It was first made available in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel, and after undergoing some cheat-proofing modifications, it got approval from the Nevada State Gaming Commission.

Soon after this, the video slot became hugely popular on the Las Vegas Strip and was acquired by IGT in 1978.

Spinning online

When the first online casino opened its virtual doors in 1996, it didn’t take long for video Slots to be made available to anyone with an account. Developments in technology made it even easier for the games to be accessed, with better graphics, bonus features and internet speeds helping the games to become the incredible adventures we can so conveniently play today.

You no longer need your passport to witness the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip thanks to the incredible invention of the internet and the video Slots that have travelled all the way from the Strip, straight to the comfort of your own home.

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