Slot Machines – Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going

Where We Were

Charles Fey invented the slot machine in the 1890′s. He probably never envisioned that his creation called the “Liberty Bell” would evolve into the most popular form of casino gambling today.

The slot evolution however had a lot of growing pains as many in the United States viewed gambling as a social ill. By 1910 all legal gambling activity was shut down,which left horse racing as the only legal entity in America.

During the 1920′s prohibition era, the public’s thirst for gambling matched that of booze. Slot machines along with alcohol were found in “Speak Easy’s” throughout America, many of them controlled by Organized Crime. After prohibition ended underground casinos remained active.

States began to crack down on illegal casinos and began to seize and destroy gambling equipment, including slot machines. Mayor LaGuardia of New York City called them “mechanical pick pockets”, destroyed them with a sledge hammer, and dumped them into Long Island Sound. (You can watch the action on YouTube.)

In 1931 Nevada legalized gambling. Slot machines populated the floor in the states’ casinos but were there only to amuse the wives and mistresses playing their pennies and nickles while the men did all the heavy gambling at the tables. (A portrayal of this is depicted in the 1952 movie, “The Las Vegas Story” with Vincent Price, Victor Mature, and Jane Russel.) Slots remained a “ladies” game until Atlantic City legalized gambling in 1978.

Bally Manufacturing invented a unit powered by electricity and slots began to “light up” and produce various sound effects. When multi-coin acceptors were introduced, new dollar machines meant larger jackpots for customers. When the Random Number Generator was invented top prize amounts could be increased on four and five reel versions. A spin button became an alternative to the handle.

The Indian Gaming Act was approved in the 1980′s which allowed casinos on reservation land and newly legislated dockside riverboat gambling attracted new slot players while racetracks added the one arm bandits..

IGT launched Megabucks in 1986 and slots were now linked across Nevada by phone lines offering a giant lottery size jackpot that grew with each coin wagered. The Progressive Jackpot was born and players could now become millionaires. Players began abandoning the table games, flocked to the machines and casinos took notice.

Where We Are

The proliferation of slots paved the way for new inventions. A video slot with 25 lines, up to a bet of 10 credits per line allowed for a ticket in, ticket out, (TITO) system. The coins and the handles followed the dinosaurs.. Operators could now lower the denominations to as little as a penny and still turn a profit.

In the new century slot makers were quick to promote the themed slot, units based on popular movies, TV shows and entertainers. Players could now spin the Wheel of Fortune, giggle at Curley, Larry, and Moe, take a ride with Captain Kirk, or croon over Ol’ Blue eyes. All the games have video clips from favorite shows.

The themed slots have evolved to 5 video reels with up to 40 lines. Chairs have comfortable high backs, and some even vibrate when certain bonus features are hit. Touch screens have the latest LCD technology, 3D graphics and Bose sound systems as they continue to evolve. Depending on the game theme, players can wager as little as one penny(credit) per line up to $2, $3, and $4 maximums. Bonus features offer generous payouts while progressive jackpots climb to six and seven figures.

Newer games saw the introduction of CSI, Sex and the City, Iron man, Michael Jackson, David Copperfield, The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Wonder Woman, Ellen, Let’s Make a Deal, the Godfather, Monopoly, and The list goes on and on.

Where We’re Going

The themed slot will no doubt continue to grow. However there’s a huge segment of casino patrons looking for something different. They are the Millennials.Born in the early 1980′s to the late 1990′s who grew up playing video games. Casinos took notice that this generation didn’t care to sit in front of a machine that did all the work for them in order to win. They want to be involved to make it happen. This led to the introduction of Games of Skill at the 2016 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

Two companies, GameCo and Gamblit Gaming introduced their wares at the expo and by all accounts, things look very promising. Other companies, Konami and Scientific Games are creating their own versions to attract the Gen Y’s. Other companies will soon follow.

Some of the games are based on poker where a limited number of players use their skill to grab the cards they need. In another game players have to collect rare treasures in Pharaoh’s Secret Temple before time is up.

It’s too early to tell if the skill element will be successful, but some games are already up and running in Vegas and Atlantic City. Only time will tell.

The American Gaming Association reported that there are 832,988 slot machines in 1,151 casinos across 44 states, with more on the way. This begs the question: with more than 50 million visitors to casinos annually, will the slot craze continue?

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A Guide for Organizing Fun Casino Events

Casino events are great icebreakers and the best way to involve your guests in your party. They can be hired for fundraising, corporate parties, birthdays, weddings, holiday parties, etc. To host a Fun Casino Event party, you must hire a quality fun casino company, which offers specialized games and gambling equipment, and handling experts.

Tips for Organizing a Fun Casino Events Party

Quality fun casino companies offer a number of exciting games, including popular games like Roulette, Poker, Blackjack, Wheel of Fortune, Craps, and Slots. However, not all games can be set up in your evening party. First, because you will run out of space and second, you will require a lot of money.

If you look around, there are plenty of fun games to choose from and depending on your budget, you can choose the number and type of gambling equipments to set up.

While there are many machine games like Bingo and Slots to hire for your party, it is advisable to limit their number to two or three, or completely obliterate them to save space for non-machine table games. However, if you have rented a large space for your party, include machine games.

The idea behind a Fun Casino Events party is to have fun and indulge in gambling, without fear of losing your shirt. Remember, only licensed casinos can deal in money. Although hiring a company will ensure you have authentic games set up, no money dealings can be made over these games.

You can include ‘fun money’ in your party. Fun money can be exchanged for chips at the tables, just like a normal casino. Your guests should aim at winning as many chips as they can before the night is over to win prizes.

Planning and purchasing prizes will require some careful thought and should ideally be done at least a fortnight before your party. Prizes can be anything, from elaborate gift baskets to small items, depending on how much you are willing to spend.

To host a party, you don’t need a large crowd. Casino companies will organize events for as less as 20 members. However, if you are organizing a corporate party, the number of guests will usually be more and many different types of games and tables and machines can be set up.

A party theme is a good idea. James Bond and Las Vegas are among the most popular themes. Your hire company should be able to organize designs, props and costumes for croupiers in keeping with the theme you have decided. Also, enquire for extras like magicians, dancers, servers, etc.

In addition to announcing the party theme, look into the kinds of props that are available with the casino hire. Suggest any additions, like Vodka Luges or Chocolate Fountains that will make your party interesting. In addition, before you book, check gambling equipment catalogue to understand quality of tables and machines that will be provided.

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Gibraltar – Online Games Industry

The online gaming industry has seen incredible growth in recent years to the extent that it has now become a significant part of the economy of Gibraltar. The number of people employed directly in this sector has grown from 185 in 1996 to well over 1600 today (2007).

Gibraltar has become widely recognised as a leading, reputable and well regulated jurisdiction for online gaming activities.

Gibraltar itself is well established in terms of banking and financial services. With total assets of the Banking Sector in 2006 around £7 billion, and with financial supervision and regulation matching that of the UK, many banks are represented in Gibraltar and many people are setting up businesses as they see untapped market opportunities in the region. Gibraltar itself has increased its GDP this year to around £500 million, from £393 million in 1988, and is now able to offer its residents further concession in their general income tax rate. This is due to an increase in revenues brought in mainly by the gaming companies which now provides some £4.3 million to Government each year.

Setting up an online gaming company however can prove difficult however, as there are many requirements and restrictions in terms of the number of licenses that can be obtained to operate a gaming company.

All gaming operations in Gibraltar require licensing under the Gaming Ordinance. Licenses are issued by the Office of the Financial and Development Secretary on behalf of the government and it hands out only 1 new license each year generally. The government will only license a company with a proven track record in gaming, of reputable standing and with a realistic business plan. As of January 2007 there are 16 licensed operators including the likes of Party Gaming, 888 holdings and St Minver Ltd who offer the chance to set up a white label bingo, casino or poker site as part of an additional online revenue stream and by using their gaming license. This negates the need to apply for a license yourself.

Gaming tax on sports betting and betting exchanges is levied at 1% of turnover. Compared to 15% in the UK, Gibraltar is seen as a more economically viable option for those wishing to enter the gaming markets.

For internet casinos, tax is levied at 1% of the gaming yield. In all cases, there is a minimum tax of £85,000 payable and a cap on tax payable of £425,000 per annum, per license.

Conditions and licensing requirements cover areas such as advertising, payout of prize money, customer privacy, data protection, auditing and accounts. Gaming operators like St Minver are required to fully comply with the Criminal Justice Ordinance and anti Money Laundering Guidelines published by the Financial Services Commission.

The Gambling Ordinance 2005, legislates for all forms of gambling (including betting, bookmaking, gaming and lotteries or casinos) in Gibraltar. There are extensive new provisions, particularly for remote gambling, including requirements for certification of testing of gambling equipment and software, security of computer equipment and data protection, direct link on the homepage to at least one organisation dedicated to assisting problem gamblers and license holders not permitting persons to gamble unless that person has registered full name and details.

Currently many gaming companies enjoy tax exempt status which provides benefits to both the gaming company and the Gibraltar government who provides this incentive for businesses to start up in the country. However, this is being phased out and existing companies will cease to have this concession by the end of December 2010. Instead, companies will be offered a Personnel tax and Property Occupation tax capped at 15% each, until the EU can decide and agree the ongoing tax regime for Gibraltar.

Gibraltar has become established as an attractive base for blue-chip remote gambling operators, principally as a result of Gibraltar’s reputation and well regulated jurisdiction, a legal framework based on UK law and well developed telecommunications. Couple that with a favourable tax regime, multilingual labour force with experience in the gaming sector and freedom of movement of labour from within the EU and it is not hard to see why the online games industry is booming in Gibraltar.

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Tap Water Filter Facts – How to Save Yourself Hundreds of Dollars in Equipment and Running Costs

It can be an expensive gamble to put a tap water filter into your home. Because there are tap water filters out there that cost plenty but don’t actually work!

Let me say why you need to get a tap water purifier, and then review some of the better-known tap water filer systems so you can know which ones actually do remove contaminants and give your family the clean pure fresh water they need to be healthy.

First, we need some sort of effective tap water filter system in our homes because there are drugs in tap water.

This is alarming, I know, but scientific study shows that more than 40 million Americans are drinking tap water laced with tiny traces of pharmaceuticals, drugs and toxic chemicals. Things like prescription heart drugs and pain killers, hormone treatment and steroids, asthma relief compounds and weight loss tablets.

Deadly traces of these things get into the water catchment areas of our cities (and rural areas also) when patients go to the toilet after taking their pills, or toss out unused old medications, or simply use regular over-the-counter pharmaceuticals from their local drug store.

Drugs don’t get absorbed into our bodies, or evaporate when they are sent out with the trash. They leech into the ground and seep into the water aquifers from where metropolitan water authorities draw supplies. Those authorities do filter and treat that water before sending it to our taps. But most local authorities do not test for more than one or two chemicals and their filter systems are unable to stop the pharmaceuticals and chemicals getting into the taps.

Again, you can test tap water right across America and you will find it contains tiny traces of pharmaceuticals, even though its been treated by city water authorities.

Some authorities are hoping those traces are so tiny they won’t make us sick. Unfortunately the science is not on their side. Numerous research studies have found male fish being turned into female fish when living in water contaminated by the most minute traces of pharmaceuticals.

So we need to have a tap water filter in our homes before any water passes our lips. The local water authority filters almost never do the job for us.

There are several types of home tap water filter systems and I’ll list them here.

They vary in price and effectiveness. Pick a purifier that works and fits your budget, and don’t be intimidated by hype and advertising from big expensive systems which tests show actually don’t stop chemicals.

Sediment filters.

These strain out particles and are made with fibre or ceramic filter cores. A tap water filter system like this, designed to filter sediment, is OK for dirt particles, but can’t stop anything that’s dissolved in the water itself. So they are not able to stop the toxic chemicals that seep into the soil from factories, or the drugs and chemicals coming from homes.

Activated carbon filters.

These purifiers contain a special “activated” carbon that stacks clusters of carbon atoms on top of each other. It is highly porous, because of the way it is made from things like peanut shells, so when water passes through them it flows over a large surface area of active carbon. (One kg of activated carbon can have a surface area equivalent to five or six football fields.) These filters block particles of dirt and adsorb a wide range of contaminants — particularly organic compounds. But over time the pores in these tap water filter systems clog up and the carbon stops working and has to be replaced. Fortunately the replacement filter cartridges from ethical manufacturers are economical..

Distillation.

There are (a few) tap water filter systems that distill the water. Wrong science! Most chemicals boil at a lower temperature than water, so the boiling and condensing that happens when water is distilled only removed dirt particles — chemicals condense back and are collected with the so-called pure water at the end of the distillation process.

Reverse osmosis.

Two major problems with these systems, that were designed to turn sea water into fresh water for irrigating desert farms. For one thing, they are inefficient. They produce gallons of dirty, waste water for every gallon of fresh water. And for another, they remove everything from the water — including all those healthy natural trace elements like calcium and magnesium that humans have been getting from water for thousands of years, and which we absolutely must have to keep up our health.

So there you have it. These are the main types of tap water filter systems on the market.

Some of them are expensive and don’t stop chlorine, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. You are best to choose a system that combines several systems so you actually do get water that is clean, chemical-free and yet retains the rich natural minerals found in good water.

Fortunately state laws frequently require tap water filter manufacturers to clearly label their purifiers, so there is a lot of literature available for you to research. Much of this is on the Internet, and that would be a good place to start looking. In fact you might want to make my web site your first call because it has a lot of helpful detail about tap water filter systems.

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A Guide to Prize Wheels

One of the most popular attractions in the casino are prize wheels. So simple, but yet so effective, these can be a welcome addition to any successful casino.

There are many types of these wheels. People usually spin these wheels or roll an object around on it. The part of the wheel winds up under the indicator is how you determine what the player has won. In some games, the player would roll an object on a wheel. The object will eventually settle on a section. The prize is rewarded according to the where the object lands.

There are many types of prize wheels that are used. There is a variation of prizes which could range from an extra chance to a large sum of money. There are also money tables. The part of that table that comes up is the money that will be rewarded to the player who made the spin. Another type of prize wheel is the number wheel. Other wheels include dice wheels, color wheels, and even others. Many casinos use a combination of different types of wheels to put together their own prizes.

Prize wheels are also available at stores. One of the more recommended ways to search for a wheel of prizes is to look online. There are also big department stores that sell these items. Some shopping malls carry a specialty store that sells gambling equipment that would include gambling wheels. They usually sell at a high price, but it is certainly possible to get a good deal on a gambling wheel when going to the right company.

Gambling wheels are a very fun object to play with in casinos. They are popular simply for the suspense of finding out what prize is going to be won.

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