It is funny actually, because slot gambling has been so ingrained in the global gambling culture that we would not blame anyone for thinking that slot machines have been around since the very dawn of casinos. However, this isn’t the case, mainly because the technology needed to create these incredible gambling consoles wasn’t really available until the late 19th Century. Regardless, many people would look at you with a look of shock if you were to tell them that Blackjack, for instance, has reportedly been around since before Christ in some shape or form, whilst slot machines have only existed for little more than a hundred years. It is all testimony to the slots industry’s remarkable power to keep on innovating, making sure that the market is continuously bettering itself and expanding – play now at SlotsBaby.

And you really cannot argue with that sentiment, because it is obvious wherever you look these days. Back in the late 1800s Charles D. Fey designed the Liberty Bell slot machine, a very simple 3 reel and 1 pay line game that caused a huge amount of excitement on its release. Only a few decades later engineers were already trying to add more reels to the game, and explore the inclusion of things such as bonus features and rounds. The slots industry simply has not stopped advancing, right from the very beginning. Obviously it was online slots that really blew the game wide open as the 21st Century rolled in, but an arguably even bigger development is that of mobile slots. People just cannot get enough of spinning the reels on their smartphones, and it is something that is signalling the end of traditional slot gaming. Let’s explore this theme and ask the question: is the end of traditional gaming approaching?

Origins of slot gaming

First off, it always pays dividends to take a slight step back and look at the history of slot gaming, because with this information you can often look at the present and future in a more informed light. As we mentioned already, Charles D. Fey is the man widely credited with first bringing the world of slot gambling to the masses with his Liberty Bell slot machine in the late 19th Century.

Originally these machines were actually illegal in his native California, something that meant that all slot machines could generally only be found in the secret corners of saloons and bars. Back then it wasn’t the easiest thing to find and play a slot machine – the industry operated on the borders of secrecy due to the long arm of the law threatening to get involved.

How traditional slot gambling changed in the 20th Century

It did not take long for the US federal government to realise that there was actually a whole load of money to be earned from the developing slot gambling craze, and it was therefore legalised in the first few decades of the 20th Century, effectively paving the way for the rampant popularity that was to come. Just think about it: as soon as slot gambling was legalised it could be a lot more visible, and this attracted hundreds of thousands of new players to the exciting new gambling game.

After a while places like Las Vegas began to really make a name for themselves as gambling hotspots, and in each and every casino you could be sure to find an enticing slots hall. Traditional slot gambling changed a lot in the 20th Century, going from a secret and shady business to something that all people could enjoy. But there were even bigger developments ahead…

Online slots and the end of an era

The world of slots continued to get more and more popular as developers sussed out the technology needed to add exciting bonus features and even video screens. Casinos were making record amounts off slot gamblers, but then a technological advancement happened that turned the whole industry on its head.

In the 90s the burgeoning Internet was becoming ever closer to being a genuinely commercially viable platform, and before too long the first slot developers started working on online slots. Fast forward little more than a decade and the online slot market was growing to a size that would soon dwarf the traditional land-based slots market. This changed the dynamic once again, as gamblers increasingly stayed at home and gambled on their computer.

The first mobile slots

One of the biggest technological success stories of the 21st Century so far are mobile smartphones, devices that eventually led to the proliferation of mobile slots. Nowadays there are more gamblers using mobile slots to spin the reels than online slots and classic slots combined, such is the success of the market.

And anyway, can you even be surprised? If you gave most people the choice between gambling in a casino slots hall, at their desktop computer, or their phone, we’re sure many people would choose the latter in a heartbeat.

The unprecedented growth of the mobile slots market

We don’t think that even the most critically attentive analysts could have predicted quite how quickly the mobile slots market was to grow. Seriously, the numbers are actually staggering, and there are way more gamblers using online slots to spin the reels than anywhere else.

The main reason for this, of course, is the good work done by developers in order to make their games as fun as possible to play on a smaller screen. It is harder than it looks, and without advances in things like HTML5 technology it simply would not have been possible.

What does the future hold?

What does the future hold in regard to mobile slots? Well, it is clear that the overall dynamic of slot gambling has changed completely since the late 1800s, and this isn’t something that is about to stop any time soon. We expect mobile slots to keep being incredibly popular, but watch out for virtual reality slots, who knows how they might change the market when they get more common.