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The History of Slot Machines

Gambling experts infer that the first slot machine was created by a Brooklyn-based company called Sittman and Pitt in 1981. It must be stated that a lot of the developments were attributed to Charles Fey- the father of slot machine. His pioneering work shed light on the path that these machines have followed.

The History of Slot Machines

However, machines from Sittman and Pitt were different, both in operation and design, from that of Charles Fey. The former was manufactured from cast iron. It used five randomized playing cards that would be ejected after punter inserted coins into it. Using similar rules in poker, the punter would keep on playing. This was dependant whether they had better hands. After winning they would cash out.

The Sittman and Pitt Slot Machines

The Sittman and Pitt slot machines were a step in the right direction of gambling, but it had two pitfalls. The machine has developed with the noble idea of increasing efficiency in betting premise. But one of its biggest downfalls was that it never dispensed money. Expectedly, this brought forth arguments on the winnings of different players.

Secondly, it had the 50 card deck as opposed to the regular 52 cards one. This reduced the winning chances of players. Charles Fey saw the loopholes in this machine and developed his own which he called the Liberty Bell Machine.

The Liberty Bell Machine

Instead of using cards, as was the case in Sittman and Pitt machine, the Liberty Bell used reels. The idea and implementation was a great leap from the former one. The reels were imprinted with symbols of horseshoes, bells, stars, clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds. These symbols left an indelible mark and are used in slot machines to date.

Secondly, The Liberty Bell machine dispensed money. Players who won instantly received their money. IT easily negated arguments that were previously the norm with Sittman and Pitt machine. Depending on the combination of the reels, players would receive their two to twenty coins. As expected, the machines became increasingly popular and were well received by the target market. As a result, companies produced them. That marked the commencement of mechanical gambling as we currently know it.

Other companies improved on the Liberty Bell machine’s design. Modern slot machines integrate new features, but they all borrowed widely from Charles Fey’s machine. A good example is the Operator Bell that was introduced by the Mills Novelty Company.


Slot machines became the mainstay of gambling. They helped increase profits, and more people started gambling. But some people weren’t happy. Many countries called for regulating them and some even called for banning them. In the United States there, was stunted growth but that was not the case abroad. European markets embraced it in its entirety. To this day, gambling has been a booming business in Europe. The same cannot be said about the industry in the U.S. It all boils down to regulatory differences between the two countries.

Evolution of Slot Machines

The industrial revolution brought with it a bag of goodies in the gambling industry. Slot machines were now electronic and were coupled with better technology. The Money Honey, developed by Bally Manufacturing, released in 1963. IT was the first fully electronic slot machine. It was more reliable, efficient and convenient. Years later, the machines were fitted with a second screen that made it possible for places to earn extra bonuses.

There have been modifications to the slot style namely, the3 and 5-reel classic, progressive slots, and bonus slots. With the dawn of the internet, gambling companies created online slots. While they offer a different and more convenient gambling experience, they have not old slot machines.


The future points to a fully digital experience in gambling. It has been the case for a long time and will continue to dominate.

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Blog Summary

Blog Name: The History of Slot Machines

Posted On: 08/04/2019

Author: Robert Bowron

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