During the 1930’s the Mills Co. began to theme the slot machines with colorful depictions such as the Lion Head, the War Eagle and the Roman Head in 1931, and the Castle Front in 1933. As these new flashy models were produced, new features were also added. The Lion Head still used the gooseneck coin acceptor that was introduced in the twenties, but later models such as the War Eagle highlighted a new coin acceptor that showed the coins moving across the top of the slot machine.
In the 1930’s the popularity of slot machines increased greatly. In the forties, a man named Bugsy Seigel added the machines to his Hotel in Las Vegas called the Flamingo Hilton. What’s interesting is that the machines were originally introduced to the hotel as a way of entertaining the wives and girlfriends of high rollers. It was not long after, when the revenue from the casino slot machines began to supersede that of the casino’s table games. Forty years later in the mid eighties, both slot machines and table games were on par with eachother, and by the nineties, slots were the leader, capturing more than two thirds of all casino revenue in the United States.
The term ‘slot machines’ was originally used to define both automatic vending machines as well as the gambling devices, however, in the twentieth century, the term only refers to slots as we know them today. Slot machines have gained a universal appeal in casinos. Unlike other games involving skill and strategy, slot machines are played, and money is won and lost solely on the basis of the laws of probability. Today, slot machines are able to accept multiple bets simultaneously and create jackpots that can pay $5,000-$10,000 but can even run to more than $1 million. In 2003, the U.S. state governments taxed casino gambling and raised an astonishing $6 billion.
The modern day slot machine has indeed come a long way since 1895. It has survived a difficult era during the early part of the 1900’s when the anti-gambling movement emerged, but has flourished and evolved to become an important part of today’s gaming industry.