The slot machine, a popular game in casinos, was nicknamed the onearmed bandit because it originally started out with a lever that theplayer pulled to spin the 3 reels within the casing. These reels eachhad 10 symbols that showed through a display window one symbol of eachreel at a time. If 3 identical symbols showed at the same time as aresult of one pull of the lever, the player won. The chances of thiswere slim so more often than not the player lost their money. Thiscontributed to the creation of the nickname.

The very first slotmachine, named the Liberty Bell, was created in 1895 by Charles Fey, animmigrant from Germany. The original symbols that were displayed on eachreel consisted of playing card suits, a star, a horseshoe and a libertybell. With the demand for slot machines high, an offer was made topurchase the rights to the production and distribution of these games ofchance by a gambling supply company. However, Charles Fey refused tosell so new versions of the Liberty Bell had to be created. One of thesenew versions was built in 1907 by Herbert Mills and it was called theOperator Bell. He was the first one to use fruit symbols for his slotmachine. Poker games.

Each pull of a lever a player was taking a chance onlosing there money so more and more its gambling nature began to causeproblems for the manufacturers. Gambling was frowned upon as much as thesale of liquor so these machines became illegal by 1910. Somemanufacturers tried to hide the use of these devices by making them seemlike vending machines. The Bell- Fruit Company came up with a slotmachine that dispensed sticks of gum with every pull of the lever. Thisdidn’t work but instead made people view vending machines in a bad way.The anti-gambling views popularity began to be used by politicians tohelp with their campaign for office way into the thirties. Politicianswould be seen smashing these machines to gain votes from those whodespised gambling and saw it as criminal act. The famous criminal BugsySiegel added to the dislike of slot machines because he purchased anumber of them to put into his hotel the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas.He put them into his hotel for a reason though. He was using them tokeep the wives and girlfriends busy while their rich husbands gambledwithin his casino.

By the early 60′s slot machines had goneelectric and by the 70′s microchips were added and the lever was removedby the 80′s with more improved microchips that allowed the slotmachines to work with just the press of a button. Internet poker.

As time went by the view of gambling with slot machines has improved to some degree with its popularity increasing. In fact, slots have increased in popularity today so much it brings in about 80% of a casino’s income.

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