Slot Machines Aren’t Just For Fun

A slot is a narrow opening, usually in a door or wall. It may also refer to a position or assignment in an organization or to an activity that requires patience, skill, and effort, as in waiting for a slot on a flight. The term can also be used for a monetary award, as in a lottery, or in sports to describe an unmarked space between the face-off circles on an ice hockey rink.

In a massive showroom at the Palais des Congres in Montreal, Quebec, well-dressed men and women push buttons and pull levers on slot machines that emit bells, jingles and flashing lights. But the men and women aren’t here for fun – they’re here to do business.

The first slot machine was developed by Charles Augustus Fey in 1887. His machine automated the payout process and eliminated the physical playing cards that were required by Sittman and Pitt’s original version. Instead, Fey chose symbols like cherries and bells that many of us associate with slot games today.

As the popularity of online slots grew, developers began to experiment with never-before-seen mechanics and features. NetEnt is known for their story-based video slots and has launched titles like Gonzo’s Quest and Guns N’ Roses, while IGT’s Monopoly line is a staple at casinos around the world. Meanwhile, EUROCONTROL is introducing a series of flow management slots to reduce air traffic congestion. This approach will save both money (due to reduced delays and fuel burn) and time, while improving safety.