The first “slot machine” was developed in the United States of America by Charles Fey. It was a very simple game called the Liberty Bell and was an instant hit. The first slot machines, or pokies, arrived in Australia In the early 1900’s. They became instantly popular with gamblers, despite their illegality.
In 1953 an Australian company called Aristocrat saw that pokies meant big business for gambling, and asked Joe Heywood to develop their first game, which was known as the Clubman. In 1955 the Clubman was replaced with the Clubmaster.
A year later, in 1956, the government of NSW legalised gaming machines in registered clubs. This was the single decision that changed the face of gambling in Australia and around the world forever. The pokies were very soon a huge hit with players despite their relative simplicity – they didn’t even have lights until the 1960s.
The next few decades were pretty quiet in terms of innovation in the area of pokie machines. All pokies had three spinning reels and either one, three or five lines. The jackpots were small by today’s standards and interactivity was limited to pulling the lever and waiting for the reels to stop.
It was not until the mid 1980s that the first video slots were produced and released to the public. This was the biggest development in gaming since that first Liberty Bell game. Not only did the games have five reels but the also had many more lines and offered additional ways to win such as bonuses.
Today no matter where you are, if you walk into a casino you are sure to see whole rows of video pokies. From Las Vegas to Sydney the pokies are the most popular form of gambling today.
With the development and popularisation of the internet, online pokies have become a sensation among gamers. With even greater chances to win, and no need to leave the comfort of your home, gamers have discovered online pokies are the future of gaming.