Even in Nevada, slot machines were merely a curiosity. Even the largest casino contained no more than a few hundred machines. They were there to entertain the browsers, while the serious gambling was conducted at the tables.

A couple of things happened in the 1960s and ’70s that changed the attitudes of both the casino executives and the players. Electro-mechanical machines were developed by pinball-machine builder Bally Manufacturing which permitted many more payoffs than the mechanical machines could accommodate.

And the Bally machines came complete with an enlarged ‘hopper,’ or coin storage unit, that could hold up to 2,500 coins. In addition, the Bally machines could accept more than one coin at a time, which allowed the players to insert up to five coins on one pull of the handle.

When casinos were legalized in Atlantic City, riverboats in the Midwest and on Indian reservations across the U.S., slot machines became the game of choice.

Sound effects, special lighting, music and more frequent payouts drew more and more players to the slot machines. Players could choose from three-, four-, and five-reel machines, and in 1980, Bally engineered a group of machines that could be linked together to create a giant jackpot.

Ironically, this development would fuel the growth of Bally’s chief competitor, IGT, which developed the ‘life-changing’ million dollar jackpots now commonplace in systems like ‘Megabucks,’ ‘Quartermania,’ and ‘Dollars Deluxe.’

Today, there are dozens of slot manufacturers around the world. Australia’s Aristocrat, Japan’s Universal and Sigma, Europe’s Novomatic, and many companies based in the United States, slot machines are often designed for specific markets.

In Australia, Aristocrat produces video slot machines that include intricate graphics and complicated payouts for a very sophisticated slot player. In Japan, pachinko and pachisuro parlors reward players with prizes rather than cash.

American players vary according to the area in which they play. In Las Vegas and Atlantic City, mature slot players turn more frequently to video poker, where they feel they have some control over their wins or losses. In other, newer, jurisdictions, the simpler the machine, the better.

But the fact remains that slot machines are becoming increasingly popular, and slot manufacturers are producing more attractive machines to entice increasingly selective slot players.

By Carson Danfield
Carson Danfield is an “Under the Radar” Internet Entrepreneur who’s been quietly selling various products for the last 8 years. Although you’ve probably never heard of him. there’s a good chance you’ve visited his websites in the past and even purchased some of his products.

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