You’ll be hard-pressed to find a pub in Britain which doesn’t have a fruit machine tucked away in a corner somewhere! Brits love slot machines and this is a love that’s unlikely to die out any time soon. Let’s take a look at why these games are so loved by the nation.
History of Slots
The first slot machine as we would recognise it today was developed in the late nineteenth century by an inventor called Charles Augustus Fey. His ‘Liberty Bell’ soon spread through saloons in San Francisco and beyond.
Before long, people were thinking of how they could update the slot machine and make it even more innovative. In 1976, the first true video slot was unveiled in Las Vegas and in an explosive fashion, they gained popularity.
So, how did this much-loved gambling machine make its way across the pond?
Slots in Britain
Up until 1960, British law dictated a game had to have an element to skill to it if it was going to have some sort of payout. Games with a payout were typical of games that you can still find at carnivals, fairgrounds, and fêtes. These could include ball games, cranes, and shooting games. There were occasionally fun things too like fortune tellers and jukeboxes which didn’t require a payout function.
After slots took America by storm, they made their way to the UK. In 1968, the government introduced the Gaming Act which meant that British casinos needed a license to operate so the gaming was always taking place in a safely controlled environment.
Due to the bright, iconic fruit designs on the reels of the first machines, they soon became known as fruit machines and have been popular in pubs and arcades up and down Britain ever since. It’s estimated that the number of gaming machines in the UK totalled 183,928 as of 2017, proving that we sure love a spin of the reels!
Ever since 1976, video slots have boomed. In 1996, the Reel ‘Em slot by WMS Industries was launched, the first to use a second bonus round screen, and this game completely revolutionised slot games. Games nowadays use a whole host of interesting themes and are constantly coming up with new ways to arrange the reels. There are more special features than we could possibly ever list, and each one brings something new and amazing to their games.
The games are not the only things constantly on the update. Nowadays, you can access your favourite online slot games entirely through your smartphone. Nearly every game that hits the market is fully compatible with mobile play, sometimes even allowing you to make a deposit to the casino with your phone (thanks to the ‘pay by phone’ scheme); meaning your deposit cost is simply tacked onto your monthly phone bill.
With new ways to play and interesting games constantly hitting the market, we’re certain that the British’s love of fruit machines is unlikely to die out any time soon!