Fruits in casinos – or how slot machines gained popularity

There is a certain number of non-gamblers who have a slot machine in mind when it comes to gambling. Cards, roulette, lottery, bingo or sport betting are only after the one-armed bandit in the row. It is not accidental then that in most land based casinos in the United States more than 60% of the total income comes from slot machines. With the appearance of smart phones and slot machine applications plus the breaking in of mobile casinos into the market, passionate players have the chance to stare at their screens in the hope of glancing at the same symbols next to each other.

Since when do these machines with reels keep gamblers excited? The precise date of the appearance of this type of machine is debatable. Some say that it dates back to 1887, others are convinced that the birthday of the first mechanical slot machine was in 1895. The invention is attributed to Charles Frey, a car mechanic from San Francisco. Since the reels depicted symbols like a diamond, spade, heart and cracked bell, he named the machine the Liberty Bell. Payoffs were guaranteed if the same picture appeared on the screen at the same time, but a spin resulting in three liberty bells in a row gave the biggest pile of fifty cents or ten nickels. The original Liberty Bell machine can still be seen at the Liberty Belle Saloon&Restaurant in Reno, Nevada.

There was such a huge demand for slot machines which Frey had not anticipated so he himself could not build them as fast as casino and saloon owners desired. For this reason clients asked him to sell the manufacturing and distribution rights, however, he repeatedly refused to do so. Then something had to be done and resourceful minds came up with an idea. In 1905 a robbery occurred at a saloon in Frisco where only two items were stolen. An apron (who knows why) and a Liberty Bell slot machine. Less than one year was enough to take the stolen machine into parts and re-assemble it and a new version of the miraculous machine, called Miss Liberty Bell rolled off the assembly line of Herbert Mills’s Novelty Company. Not too much later the whole North-American continent was flooded with the gambling machine. The identity of the thief has never been revealed but some say that the story is just a fiction since Frey himself went into business with Mills Novelty. Anyway, a staggering number of machines, over 30,000 were made by 1915 when a less expensive wood cabinet replaced the heavy cast iron, and with this the “bandit” started to undergo a never ending development process and revolutionized the industry again and again.

As a result of this renewal, you are able to touch the screen of your mobile device and reap the big win if the same figures appear in a row let them be fruits, bells, hearts, spades or whatever. You can do it without having to put up with the noise the original cast iron machine gave out or without inserting any coins into any slots.

The name ‘slot’ and the basic idea of the game are the same and so is the thrill it provides players but apart from these, the whole appearance has been changed.

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