The traditional coin-fed slot machine will always have its place of prominence in the live casinos of the world. However, its online counterpart is fast becoming one of the most popular web-based casino games in the world. Perhaps it’s the thrill of the spin, or maybe it’s the fact that there’s no need to learn from the professionals as you do with other games. Whatever the reason, online slots are here to stay, and you'll learn why. But first, let’s go back in time.
The humble slot machine or one-armed bandit, started its life in 1891 when Sittman and Pitt developed the first-ever device of this kind. It was based on a poker theme and included 50 card faces. Throughout the ages, the slot machine evolved to be something a lot more complicated than Sittman and Pitt’s original invention. Themes became the norm, and innovative technology meant that by 1976, we saw the first video screens on slot machines.
By the mid-late 90s, online casinos started to appear on the internet with the promise of providing the same experience as a live casino. Anyone who remembers the early days of the internet will recall that online casinos back then were a far cry from what we see today. But although dial-up internet and incredibly slow processors seemed to suck all the fun out of playing, online slots still became incredibly popular.
Once online casino providers figured out that players were happy to play from the comfort of their own homes, the industry went stratospheric. Online casinos took advantage of the ease with which they could create new themed games seemingly in the blink of an eye. Suddenly there were hundreds of online slot games to choose from, and the online casino became a veritable paradise for players that for whatever reason, didn’t quite enjoy playing in live casinos.
But it wasn’t just the convenience factor that had people flocking to online slots in droves. As you may have heard before, traditional slot machines were often pre-programmed to payout after a certain number of spins. This meant that the reels were never truly random. If the machine wasn’t ready to pay out, it would intentionally avoid a winning spin.
Random Number Generators put a stop to all that. This software means that spins in online or video slots are genuinely random, so regardless of how soon you spin after a jackpot has been hit, you still have the chance to win again. This proved to be a big hit with online casino players and is one of the main reasons why online slots continue to be one of the biggest income generators for online casino providers. Did you know that around 48% of online casino visitors come to the site just to play slots? Pretty incredible, right?
The progressive jackpot has helped the online casino industry break into the mainstream. There are now many games that appear in numerous online casinos with progressive global jackpots. To a casual player, having a few spins with online slots is no different from playing the lottery, and it’s easy to see why.
These jackpots can be huge and when you can win several million dollars for a stake of 25cents, why wouldn’t you want to play? The largest online jackpot in history was won in 2015 by a soldier in the UK. He walked away with over $20 million from the progressive jackpot game Mega Moolah. Incredibly, this record was broken twice since then, but the Guinness Book of World Records has yet to ratify either win.
With more and more people joining online casinos in the hopes of a big win, these progressive jackpots keep getting bigger and bigger. After all, the more people play, the bigger the jackpot gets. It’s a never-breaking cycle, and as a result, the industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom.
Does this boom show any signs of slowing down? Absolutely not. If anything, online slots will continue to grow in popularity thanks to the convenience of smartphones and mobile gaming apps. And with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency offering even more security for online financial transactions, there are very few disadvantages to choosing to play online. Some experts might also suggest that very shortly, playing online will be even safer than going to your local casinos. The truth is that there seems to be nothing that can stop the juggernaut that is the online slots industry, and in our opinion, that’s a very good thing indeed.