Online gambling’s expected to be worth a staggering $73.45 billion in 2024. Indeed, due to its remarkable rise over the past decade – thanks largely to mobile slots – many people are labelling this era the Golden Age of Gambling. So, let’s look at how slots and technology have combined to bring about this era at slotzo.com.
The Mechanical Slot
The slots of today are very different from the first slot machine invented by Charles Fey in 1895. His Liberty Bell mechanical slot boasted a lever, 3 reels, a coin slot and just five symbols: spades, hearts, diamonds, horseshoes and liberty bells. The highest value was the liberty bell and thus if you landed 3 of these on the reels, you were guaranteed the jackpot – $0.50. Many companies copied Fey’s design and mechanical slots were all the rage for the next 50 or 60 years.
Mechanical slots continued to dominate the slots industry until the 1950s, when the electromechanical slot was born. It contained levers and spinning reels like its predecessor, but it wasn’t powered by springs. In fact, electromechanical slots used electric motors, so they were able to provide bigger payouts and some even boasted multipliers. Money Honey was one of the most famous electromechanical slots and its fame was largely down to its revolutionary jackpot – 500 coins.
In 1975, Walt Fraley’s Fortune slot became the first video slot to hit casino floors. Though, it wasn’t really a hit with punters, it heralded a new era for slots. Motors were replaced by computer chips in video slots, and, as a result, paylines and bonus features increased dramatically. Therefore, video slots became the most popular machines in the 1980s.
Internet and Mobile Slots
Although online slots began to emerge in the 1990s, they didn’t really challenge video slots until the noughties. Home computing became extremely popular then and because internet speeds also improved, more and more people started to do their gaming online. Furthermore, software companies such as Microgaming started creating online slots with multi-million progressive jackpots like Mega Moolah. 3D slots with a myriad of bonus features were also born, yet despite these developments, online slots didn’t really become mainstream until the smartphone started to hold sway. Mobile slots made it possible for people to play slots 24-7 anywhere they please and these days more people play slots from mobile devices than any other medium.
Even though virtual reality slots have been available since 2017, they’re only starting to catch on now. NetEnt caused a stir when they turned their popular slot, Gonzo’s Quest, into the world’s first ever VR slot game. Since then, the first VR casino has also emerged and within the next few years, experts believe VR slots will be the most popular type of slots.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our rundown of tech advancements in the slot industry. Clearly, slots are getting better day by day, so why don’t you give them a spin?