The original classic slot machine, the “Liberty Bell” was invented in 1897. Charles August Fey, a car mechanic from San Francisco invented the machine and since that time, it has developed to mammoth proportions. The original machine had three reels, each with four symbols and it had a maximum jackpot of 50c.
It was a fast growing industry in the United States. As its popularity increased more companies began to develop similar slot machines. There were however, a few years of prohibition against the slot machines and they were banned altogether in some states. They came back with a vengeance in 1964, when Bally Manufacturing released the “Money Honey.” This new slot machine featured electronic internal parts which set it in a class above the original machines. Not only the internal workings, however, were significantly different, but the slot machines now featured lights and sounds, as well as the option to bet multiple coins. US casinos featured these slot machines in great abundance.
1975 saw the first video slot machines to hit US casino floors. The “Fortune Coin” video slot machine game was invented by Walt Fraley in 1975. Fraley’s video slot machines were not immediately popular as US casino patrons were originally skeptical of the new virtual technology that they used.
International Game Technology (IGT) saw the potential in video slot machines and in 1976, they purchased the Fortune Coin manufacturer. IGT began manufacturing new video slot games and they became the second largest slot machine manufacturer, with their focus being on video slot games.
Video poker became popular in 1979 and this increased the popularity of video slot machines.
Since 1980, the popularity of video slot machine games has increased in leaps and bounds. New technology is continually being used and exciting new features are being added to the existing games. Slot machines now often feature progressive jackpots – that is that the machines are linked to other machines either in the same casino or even in other casinos. This means that the jackpots can grow very large as they are continually being added to by multiple players. This is certainly a huge step forward from the original 50c jackpots that were offered by the Liberty Bell! Slot machines these days also almost always feature bonus payouts for various combinations of spins. Players can do very well by playing video slot machines.
Video slots are available, not only in all land based casinos, but in all online casinos as well. Online slot games are highly popular. Slot games for USA players can be found on the Internet as well. Unfortunately, due to new legislation in the United States, not all states will allow the ownership or playing of slot machines. At one time, these games were very popular in United States casinos and online casinos that accepted US players, however, it is now important for all US gamblers to familiarize themselves with the legislation in the state that they are in, in order to be sure that it is legal for them to play.