The history of slot machines begins somewhere in the vicinity of 1887 (although some sources suggest time period up to 1899), when the German-American Charles Fey has created and demonstrated a mechanical machine, which he called «Liberty Bell». The machine that had three reels, each of which had 10 characters from a set of spades, diamonds, hearts, horseshoes and Liberty Bell itself. The principle of payment, and the game was also quite modern – the player inserts a coin of 5 cents and pulled the lever, the reels spun, stopped and the player wins if he gets winning combination. The maximum gain was 10 coins, payout percentage was 75%.
At first Fay assembled slot machines by himself, and handed them out to bars and saloons for 50% of the profits. While the US has acted quite serious restrictions on gambling, so sometimes the winnings are shown in a mug of beer, rather than coins, and because of that Faye could not patent his device. However, his business has grown and prospered to the factory standards, slot machines were very popular. Fay and his imitators created new machines, with a lot of combinations, big wins, etc.
It is clear that the machines are constantly and gradually improved – at first reduced the sound of drum rotation, then added different “bells”, signaling the benefit, reduced the weight of the machines, improved design and ease of management, the transition from coin acceptor to the bill acceptor, and then the cards and so on. In addition, there constantly was a struggle with the manufacturers and players who tried to cheat the machine. Improved coin-operated, closed access to the drums, staged block from mechanical damage, etc. In the old mechanical slot machines players tried to stop the reels in the right places, or tilt / hitting machine, shifting drums to stop.
Until the mid-thirties of the 20th century, slot machines gradually grasped pubs of America. In the late forties, they appeared in the lobby of the casino. Originally it was planned that casino slots will be played by the wives and girlfriends of serious gamblers, whiling away the time they’ve waiting.
In 1964 the Bally Manufacturing company(still one of the leaders in the manufacture of gaming machines) created the Money Honey slot – it was the first electro-mechanical slot. In contrast to the first slot, where everything is kept on the mechanics, there were electric motors, as well as the ability to add lighting design.
In 1975, Walt Fraley had created Coin game, it was actually the first video slots. The rights to this video slot game was acquired by the Australian company – International Game Technology (IGT), which in next year has presented similar machines. However, we can not say that the company just waiting for success – the players initially did not trust machines with TV screens. They did not see the usual drums and feared that a new type of machine is a “cheating” device and has low win/lose payment ratio.