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Track the Evolution of Online Slots: From Mechanical Beginnings to Online Dominance

Posted on: September 28, 2023. Last updated on: February 14, 2024 willy wonka slot

Slot machines have always captivated gamblers with their flashing lights and immersive sounds. Players can see them in most land-based casinos and even online at many Canadian gambling sites. These games and their availability have changed course many times over all these years, undergoing a remarkable transformation in terms of gameplay and features.
In this article, we’ll delve into the rich history of these popular casino games. We will track their journey from the first mechanical devices to the innovative online slots, revealing their path from what these games were to what they’ve become.

Origins of the Slot Machines and How Did It All Start: The 19th Century Revolution

The 19th century marked every country’s gambling landscape with a gracious but unexpected introduction. The appearance of our well-known first slot machine games changed this industry forever. These machines have become a must for any casino due to their features:

  • Exciting gameplay;
  • Unpredictability;
  • Budget-friendliness;
  • No difficult rules and strategies;
  • Luck-based.

Comprehensive information regarding this game creation and its original design:

Developer nameSittman and Pitt
Year of establishment1891
Basic designFive drums with 50 playing cards
Location to play atMainly bars
Cost to playA nickel per spin

After gaining popularity, slots began to develop further. An example is the Liberty Bell (1891), with its iconic bell symbols. That began a precedent, paving a path for many other slot machines.

Liberty Bell slot

The Move to Electromechanical Slots: A Game-Changing Transition

At the beginning of the 1960s, the world of slot machines changed significantly. In 1961, Bally introduced his first fully electromechanical machine, named “Money Honey.” This innovation quickly overtook this industry, replacing all old mechanical reels with electrically operated ones. Moreover, its automatic payout was also boosted from 50 to 500 coins.

Here’s a table with summed-up changes:

New design type
Automatic, max 500 coins
New features
Better description
Unique trait
Kept its lever for game initiation

Every rise leads to a downfall, and like that, the innovations have marked the decline of electromechanical machines. This iconic lever, once a symbol of all coin games, was soon to be pushed out, marking yet another beginning.

The new beginning starts with a simple feature – a 19-inch display. This modified screen from Sony TV has led to another invention in 1976 – video slots. It all started in Las Vegas, at the Hilton Hotel, with the “Fortune Coins” created by the Fortune Coin Company. Later, in 1986, IGT introduced the first progressive jackpot title known as “Megabucks.”


How Online Slots Rose to Global Popularity

Releasing themselves from most physical constraints, slots went fully digital. This change was led by WMS Industries and their slot “Reel EM In” in 1996. Games evolved to have more paylines, reels, themes, and features, which turned them into a conventional way to gamble that’s fun and easy to start. With a plethora of available themes, layouts and features, online slots soon surpassed classic games like blackjack.

Online Slots: What is Next

Online slots are ever-changing. Hence, questions like what’s next are not easy to answer. Yet, after careful research, we uncovered some predictions regarding the future of this luck-based game.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR):

As VR and AR technology develop and become more accessible, we can expect online slots to adopt them. This will allow for a more immersive gaming experience, as gamblers may be able to roam virtual casinos, pull down a virtual lever, and enjoy their favourite machines in a realistic casino atmosphere.

  • Bonuses Based on Skills & Performance:

Casino games may turn to valuing skills over luck. This will potentially require players to make decisions or act based on strategies rather than blindly relying on luck.

  • More Interactive Themes & Storylines:

One’s for sure: in the future, these games will offer more in-depth narratives with better storylines and new themes, just like video games.

  • Gamification:

Getting close to video games, slots may incorporate new mechanics like quests, achievement levels, etc.

  • Adaptive Gaming Tech:

With the introduction of AI in our tech world, many companies have implemented it in their products. We may see this in slot games, where titles may adapt for each individual in terms of themes, volatility, RTP and so on.

  • Communities & Social Integration:

One thing that the future may bring is to incorporate more social features enabling gamblers to form friendships, communities and share experiences more conveniently.

Slots in Canada: Canadian Legacy & Popular Games

Quatro Casino slots

Games of chance have long been adored in Canada, with a history spanning centuries. In 1985, gambling became legal. This first step paved the way for casinos and the first slots. In fact, in 1989, a government-owned casino – Crystal Casino, opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This gambling establishment was also the first to offer access to slot machines within Canada, spreading their popularity.

Slot machines spread over all newly-found establishments. In 1994, with the appearance of online casinos, online slots also became available. Although playing slot machines online was illegal, no one prevented Canadians from gambling offshore.

In the 21st Century, Canada has fully legalized gambling in provinces like Ontario. There, players can enjoy various games, including slots in land-based casinos and online. Statistics indicate that the country currently boasts around 200 brick-and-mortar casinos, offering access to over 75,000 slot machines.

Nowadays, players can enjoy numerous popular online slots like:

NameTypeProviderRTPVolatilityMin/Max Bet
Thunderstruck IIVideoMicrogaming96.65%MediumC$0.30/C$15
Immortal RomanceVideoMicrogaming96.86%MediumC$0.25/C$6.25
Book of DeadVideoPlay’n Go96.21HighC$0.1/C$100
Guns N’ RosesVideoNetEnt96.98%Low to MediumC$2/C$200

Final Thoughts

From the humble beginning of mechanical coin games to the start of digital slots in the 19th century, these games have evolved drastically. They continue to immerse players and develop throughout history using new technological advancements. With that, the future of slots looks promising, expecting to bring in more thrilling experiences. One thing is clear as we reflect on their dynamic history of changes: these games will stay timeless, keeping their allure for many

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