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History of Gaming Machines in the UK

No one could predict that a machine-driven gambling experiment designed in 1887 would bring entertainment to so many lives and become such an iconic object in today’s world. Slot machines have a colourful history and have come a long way from rewarding gum prizes to paying breath-taking online jackpots spanning into the millions of pounds. In the United Kingdom, slots are called fruit machines; in the United States, they are called slots (or video slots); and Australians call them pokies.

The First Slot Machines

Charles Fey invented the very first slot machine based on the basics o the game of poker. His machine was an answer to the question of “how to automate poker”. The machine was created with three reels, which presented 3 symbols in total, including horseshoes, diamonds, hearts, and spades – and the Liberty Bell was to become the very first slot machine.

The first jackpot slot was the liberty bell, and to win the highest prize, you needed three of the same symbols in a row. Not even Fey expected his machine to be that popular, and even though the slot machines were banned in his state at the time, a huge demand for these Liberty Bell slot machines came from everywhere else.

The fruit-themed symbols, which are still commonly used today, came from a time when prizes consisted of fruit-flavoured gum. Cash prizes were replaced by fruity-flavoured candy to evade prosecution under the anti-gambling law at the time. The gum flavours were Cherry, Lemon and Melon, and the ‘Bar’ icon symbolised an earlier version of the Bell-Fruit company logo.

In 1963, Bally Technologies created the world’s first electromechanical slot machine called ‘Money Honey’, and electrical components replaced mechanical parts, which provided improved gameplay and allowed multi-coin bets. The new design had flashing lights, which increased slot machines’ popularity and overall entertainment.

Digital Slot Machines

By the 1980s, microchip technology led to some of the most exciting advances in the online slot world, which is when the video slot made its debut. “Fortune Coin” was invented by Walt Fraley; this slot was well ahead of its time, so much so that slot players of the time mistrusted the new computerised technology that offered reels on a screen.

Not long after, the patent for the Fortune Coin slot was purchased by IGT in 1976, and it was its further development and smart marketing that ensured that the new generation slot machines would become a big hit. It was the start of slot game technology that led to the linking of multiple slot machines, later even on numerous sites, and IGT invented the very first progressive machine in 1986. That very first progressive jackpot machine was titled “Megabucks”.

Online Slot Machines

Once the internet became more accessible to the public and computers became more powerful, it allowed software developers to create incredible online casino games in the late 1990s through to current day. Online Casinos started appearing, not long after the millennium, which could reach a much bigger player base.

Today, the only limits to the development and designs of online video slots are set by the software suppliers’ imagination, and leading online providers such as Netent, Big Time Gaming, No Limit City and Pragmatic Play are constantly pushing the boundaries in design and new inventive bonus features, graphical qualities, and stereo sound perfection.

The same applies to progressive jackpots, with online versions often outgrowing their land-based counterparts. With mobile casinos and games, the online gambling market exploded into a multi-billion industry and has never looked back.

What new little invention started in 1887 has continued to grow in popularity and, hundreds of years later has captivated more people than its inventor could ever have imagined. Nowadays, playing online slots and online casino games is a big business. In regulated betting markets, such as the UK, players can play at legal, regulator-approved casino sites knowing they are safe, and sound and the games are not rigged.  

Regulated UK Gaming Sites

To find the safest UK online casinos, we recommend researching the best match to suit your preferences. Read casino reviews sitesnotongamstop.net and check a casino’s game library to ensure that there are enough top-quality games and that everything else checks out to have a seamless gaming experience.

We always recommend joining casino sites that are approved and licensed by the UK Gambling Commission so that you enjoy a safe, secure, and above all, a responsible online casino experience.

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