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Dale’s Daily Data: Slot Machines

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The early days of casino gambling featured slot machines you actually had to manually operate with a pull lever.  They came to be known as one-armed bandits.  Today you can sit at a machine all day and just push a button over and over again.  No matter what you call them, slot machines, slots, fruit machines – they’re the most popular form of gambling at casinos and account for 70 percent of casino income. 

 The first slot machine is traced back to Charles Fey of San Francisco in 1887.  It was a machine that had 3 spinning wheels with five different symbols – horseshoes, spades, diamonds, hearts and Liberty bells.  Three Liberty bells in a row produced the biggest payout and the machine itself came to be known at the Liberty bell.  The demand for the Liberty bell was so great, other companies just copied it and made their own under all different names.  The original Liberty bell machine can be see to this day at the Liberty Bell Saloon & Restaurant in Reno, Nevada. 

In states where gambling was outlawed, there were some slot machines that paid out winnings in chewing gum.  The Bell Fruit Gum Company had a slot machine with 3 spinning wheels that showed pictures of fruit.  Some combinations would pay out more gum than others.  If you got a lemon – you wouldn’t get any.  Now isn’t that fun?

 The key to the growth of slot machines came when casino operators in Vegas were looking for a gimmick to keep men who played card and casino games in their gambling houses longer.  The key was to give their wives and girlfriends something to do – keeping them amused.  Slot machines were perfect.  And such a good idea that eventually the women were gambling more money in the machines than the men were at the gambling tables.  

 SOURCE: World’s Best Online Casinos

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