The History of Slot Machines: An Evolution Through Time

The History of Slot Machines: An Evolution Through Time

The operation dynamics of slot machines have changed slightly, but their fundamental characteristics have not. Today’s casino news will summarize the history of slot machines—the transition from fixed machines into virtual games for mobile devices.

History of Slot Machines: How It Started – The 1800 Era Breakdown 

It is believed that the first modern slot machine was developed in 1891 by the New York company of Sittman and Pitt. The device consisted of fifty playing cards and five drums. The winnings from the casino slot games then were not monetary; winners would receive free drinks and cigars.

In 1894, a man named Charles August developed an impressive coin-operated slot machine. Later, he designed and built another one, which he produced commercially.

In 1898, Charles also invented the first three-reel slot called the Card Bell, which mechanically dispensed cash prizes. More advanced ideas came to him in 1899, and he invented the Liberty Bell machine, an improved version of earlier slot machines he had created. This catapulted slot machines into the public consciousness. 


The advent of online casinos in the 1990s marked a turning point in the evolution of slot machines. Despite facing much resistance and skepticism from authorities and players alike, they had outstanding developments. Here is a brief breakdown.

  • Based on the iconic Liberty Bell, Herbert Mills created a slot machine called the Operator Bell in 1907. The machine became popular by 1908, showing up in places like bowling alleys, shops, and barbershops.
  • In 1964, the first electromechanical slot machine debuted called Money Honey. Even though the reels were powered solely by electricity, players had to start the game by pulling the lever. 
  • The first video slot, which used a customized Sony TV, was developed by Fortune Coin in 1976. It was a remarkable development in the history of slot machines. It was first shown in the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas before being allowed for a statewide release.
  • In 1986, progressive jackpots were introduced, with the first progressive slot machine being Megabucks, developed by International Game Technology(IGT). 
  • In 1996, a new watershed moment in the history of slot machines occurred. The original “Reel ‘Em” video slot was released in 1996 by WMS Industries, Inc. It pioneered the inclusion of extra bonuses. Because of this and other factors, slot machines became increasingly popular, generating the bulk of a casino’s profit.

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Slot Machines in the Digital Age

Since the launch of the first online casino around 1994, numerous online slots real money games have been developed. As technology progressed, slots with higher-quality visuals and audio, more elaborate bonus games, and bigger jackpots emerged. People can now post online game reviews online to provide their thoughts on the slots played, helping others choose wisely and according to their likes.

2005: The Debut of Mobile Slots

In 2005, the availability of online slots for smartphones became possible. Bar Fruity, developed using Java, was the first casino game. The game had a colorful interface similar to the traditional bar fruit machine. However, these slot machines only offered virtual prizes.

In 2007/2008, the introduction of the iPhone and the App Store ushered in a new era for software creators. The app store enabled programmers to make games and propose them directly to users.

In 2010, game developers started adding complex metagame features to help slots keep players interested for longer periods. 

2016: The Revolution

Big Time Gaming (BTG) debuted its Megaways engine in 2016, completely revolutionizing the slots market. It catapulted the company into the spotlight, and a new wave of ideas came to casino software developers. This has resulted in many brand-new releases from various respected studios.

In 2023, so many initiatives are coming up to keep players on their toes. There is more information on how to play slot tournaments, win bonuses, and get the most out of slots; just visit our casino guides to get access to all of them.


Slots online have become more popular among younger players as mobile casinos have become more accessible. Constant technological developments and the production of more capable mobile devices and faster internet are fostering more creativity in the production of online slot machines like the American Eagle slot machine.

Slot machine futures are promising; we can’t wait to see what happens next. However, one thing is certain: Players’ game experiences will become more immersive. Speaking of immersive gaming experience, if you haven’t had one yet, visit Slots Paradise Casino to know how it feels! 

Try out the slot games at Slots Paradise Casino today, and become a winner of many prizes. Follow us on social media for more content like this.