Video Pokies

History of Video Pokies

It’s been well over 100 years since Charles Fey first created the world’s first pokies machine, the Liberty Bell. Yet for many years there were very few advancements in technology, so slots evolved very slowly and very little about them changed. It was only in the 1970’s that technology began to advance at a rapid pace and slots started changing for the better.

Thanks to state of the art technology, video pokies developers have been able to consistently create bigger and better games with more advanced features, animations and themes. The age of video pokies is firmly upon us, and one thing is for sure, it’s only going to get better with time.

To give you an idea of how Australian video pokies have evolved over the years and how they initially came to the fore, lets take a look at a timeline that outlines their history.

1897: The Liberty Bell is released by Charles Fey and becomes an almost overnight success. This game had 4 symbols and 3 reels and a jackpot, of what was at the time quite large, of 50c.

1898-1909: Fey’s Liberty Bell proved so popular that a number of companies started making their own versions of the game. The specifications were the same as the Liberty Bell, but the names were different, as were the reel symbols. The demand for pokies was incredibly high and supply barely met demand.

1909: The early 1900’s set back pokies manufacturers dramatically. Anti gambling campaigners managed to get pokies banned, firstly in San Francisco, then in Nevada and finally all across California. These were also the prohibition year so any sort of vice was clearly frowned upon. As we now know, the ban didn’t last that long, and today, Nevada is home to worlds gambling capital.

1964: If we jump forward to 1964, we see something of a major development in video pokies. A company called Bally Manufacturing released a game called Money Honey, which was the world’s first electro mechanical pokies machine. This game paved the ay for video pokies of the future as it added sounds, lights and the chance to bet multiple coins.

1975: This was the year the very first video pokies game hit land based casino floors. Walt Fraley created a game called Fortune Club and interestingly, it wasn’t an instant hit. Players were somewhat sceptical of the game and didn’t seem to trust it, as it featured virtual spinning reels rather than real ones.

1976: In this year IGT purchased the manufacturer of Fortune Coin as they recognised its potential and anted to use new technology to try and create a whole new range of video pokies games. IGT went on to become the worlds second biggest video pokies manufacturer, but it took a few years for their games to really take off.

1979: Interestingly it was the launch of Video Poker that really helped Video Pokies get off the ground. Up until 1979 players weren’t too keen, but as soon as they saw what Video Poker had to offer, they realised that Video pokies could easily provide the same level of entertainment too.

1980 Onwards: Today, you can find 100’s of video pokies games online and in land based casinos. Over the years new and exciting innovations have been added, and games with immersive an interactive themes have become the norm. The future of video pokies may depend on further technological advancements, but as some games have already been optimised for smartwatch you can rest assured it’s going to be exciting.