Daily Nugget

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When was the first slot machine invented?

01/19/10

Show me the nugget

1895

What: San Francisco inventor Charles Fey invented the “Liberty Bell” in 1895, a machine with five symbols and a simple mechanism for making automatic payments.

Why: Depicting horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell — and with a major pay-off of 50 cents — the machine was a huge success, with demand eventually exceeding Fey’s ability to supply (even after the machines were banned in California). When the inventor refused to sell his idea to bigger manufacturers, knock-offs proliferated and an industry was born.

Get this: Local regulation determines the minimum percentage of monies wagered at slot machines that must be paid out as winnings to players. Nevada’s minimum is 75%, and New Jersey’s is 83%. Jersey shore, here we come!

Learn more about casino gambling on the East Coast by checking out today’s story on Marketplace Morning Report.

Discussion: 3 Comments

  • Posted by kathee on March 20, 2012 4:35 PM

    when was the first slot machine invented

    Respond to kathee
  • Posted by robert on March 20, 2012 4:45 PM

    who invented the first slot machine

    Respond to robert
  • Posted by john on February 4, 2013 9:52 PM

    well i may have the answer. i have a nickle slot machine,it looks like a bird house [oak]with shingles carved into the roof but has a flat space on the top. it is powered by a wind-up clock motor. the nickle bounces over some pins and if it goes to the right spot it trips the motor and in turn causes a drum to turn the amount of one section of the drum.each time it pays the house makes 5c. none of this is visable to the player.you can tell when you won by the sound it makes.also the last coin played shows in a small window on one side and there is a small metal scoop on the other side to catch your winnings—john

    Respond to john
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