Slot machines are a casino gambling machine that features three or more reels which begin to spin when a button is pressed. Historically, they have also been known as one-armed bandits because previous models had an arm on the left-hand side of the machine instead of the more modern button and also due to the chance of leaving the participant penniless (bandit).
Many modern physical and online machines have kept the nostalgic aspect of the arm in addition to the button. Slot machines pay out based on the patterns of the symbols that appear on the front when it stops spinning.
History of Online Slot Machines
The precursor of the modern slot machine was developed in 1891 by Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, NY. The original design contained five drums that held 50 card faces with the object of obtaining the best poker hand. The first true slot machine was developed in 1887 in San Francisco by Charles Fey and contained three reels with five symbols. In 1963, Bally created the first electromechanical slot machine which could automatically pay-out up to 500 coins.
Video slots were invented in 1976 using a Sony Trinitron 19-inch colour television. Today, participants have the opportunity to choose, from home, hundreds of online slot machines that have the same principles as the historical, mechanical and electromechanical machines.
Online Slot Machines in Australia
With the highest gambling rate in the world, 80% of all Australian adults currently engage in some form of gambling. With the continued development of online wagering, most of that 80% gamble at online slot machines. As the fastest form of gambling in Australia, online slot machines are played by over 2 million Australians each year. The primary demographic playing online slot machines is married or living with a partner, have completed at least one university degree and is employed full-time. 16% of that group earns over 150K per year.
As a result of the emergence of online slot machines, gambling has significantly grown due to the added convenience. Participants do not need to travel to a casino to place wagers; instead they have the ability to simply login, add money and begin playing almost instantly. This has been a major contributor to the growth of the hobby.
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Platforms for Online Slot Machines
There are hundreds of online slot machines platforms; the most popular being Microgaming Software. Currently, the company powers over 150 online casinos. Another popular platform is Playtech Casino Software which features over 500 games across dozens of online casinos. A third popular platform is Realtime Gaming which powers over 100 online casinos and over 120 games on the platform. The newest available online casino platform is Gamescale which only has two online casinos but has been creating a reputation as offering cutting-edge software. Currently, the company has 50 high-quality and high-standard games.
Many of the aforementioned desktop and laptop platforms also feature mobile versions. Playtech is at the forefront of mobile gaming technology. Microgaming is not far behind as being one of the most highly reputed and highly recognised brands on the market. Topgame is new to the industry but has already proven to be a reliable mobile platform. Finally, Vegas Technology provides software for several of the best online casinos available. Currently, the Apple Store and Google Play do not allow real money gambling apps except for Royal Vegas.
Australian Legislation for Online Slot Machines
The most influential legislation in Australia is the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 which was passed in June 2001 to protect the public from the harmful effects of Internet gambling. The law made it illegal to operate an online casino in Australia. However, it does not prohibit citizens from placing online bets. Also, it does not outlaw sports betting or lottery sites to remain in operation. Furthermore, there is currently no law in place limiting mobile or tablet-based betting. Despite the ability to place online wagers, Australians cannot gamble online at Aristocrat-powered online slot machines.