UNITED STATES—Gambling in San Francisco is a little complicated; there are no brick-and-mortar casinos located directly in the heart of the city, and gambling with online slots is illegal under California legislation. What most people don’t know, however, is that San Francisco has a long history with slot machines.

The Creation Of Slot Machines

A precursor to the modern-day slot machine was created by company Sittman and Pitt in Brooklyn, New York. The machine was incredibly rudimentary and based on poker, using five drums with a total of 50 card faces. Players would have to spin the game’s five drums to create a poker hand combination and make a win. The game proved popular and was made available across New York, but they were complicated for operators due to the vast number of possible wins, making an automated payout difficult to implement.

Charles Fey, a mechanic from San Francisco, revolutionized the slot machine between 1887 and 1895 and created what is essentially the modern-day slot machine. Fey created a simpler machine consisting of three reels with five symbols; diamonds, spades, hearts, horseshoes, and a Liberty Bell, the latter of which gave the machine its name, the Liberty Bell Machine.

Fey’s simplification of the machine allowed him to create an automatic payout mechanism due to the reduced number of possible winning combinations. Despite the success of the Liberty Bell Machine in San Francisco and across the rest of the USA, they were banned in California, but Fey struggled to keep up with the demand of the machine elsewhere. Other manufacturers began producing copies of the Liberty Bell Machine as Fey couldn’t patent the invention, and the symbols eventually changed to the fruit-based symbols the machines are known for today.

The first-ever fully electromechanical slot was released in the early 1960s and the first real-life video slot released in the late 1970s. Slot machines have since made their way online and have developed significantly, featuring new special features and designs which you can learn about over at Casinostoplay.com. All of the slots available, both online and off, are influenced by Charles Fey’s machine.

Charles Fey’s invention of the three-reel slot machine is a significant moment in gambling history as he helped create some of the most popular casino games of all time. His invention is so important that the location of Fey’s workshop where the Liberty Bell Machine was created, although it no longer stands, is a California Historical Landmark. The location is marked by a special plaque that can be found in the Financial District of San Francisco.

Slots In San Francisco, Online And Off

Despite San Francisco having deep roots in the history of slots, the machines can be somewhat hard to find in the city. As mentioned, there are no brick-and-mortar casinos located directly in the city, and online gambling is illegal in the state of California. However, several US states have begun legalizing online gambling, and California could eventually do so too, allowing those based in the city to celebrate what San Francisco helped create; slot machines. Until this is done, however, residents of San Francisco will have to travel out to their closest brick-and-mortar casino venues to enjoy the excitement and fun that slot machines offer.