In the late 1800s, San Francisco was a wild gold rush town that was home to honky-tonks, bordellos, and slot machines. In fact, the first slot machine was invented in San Francisco. Invented by Charles August Fey, this machine had three rather than five reels and an automatic pay-out system.
Its popularity grew quickly, and in the early 20th century, slots were found in nearly every casino. Originally, slots were merely a way to pay out winnings without learning complicated rules. Today, slots are played all over the world. They originated in the United States and are now popular in many parts of the world.
Before the invention of video slots, slot machines were coin operated. During Prohibition, gambling was illegal and slot machines were transferred to speakeasies. The popularity of slot machines increased during this period, resulting in the “Golden Age of Slots.” In 1931, Nevada became the first state to legalize gambling and slot machines became available.
The first slot machines were based on fruit-themed symbols. In 1907, the Industry Novelty Co. began producing the “bell” fruit slot machines that used fruit symbols. The original fruit-based slot machines didn’t give out cash prizes; instead, gamblers received sweets or gum as prizes.