Getting in the game: the history of the slot machine in Ontario

Getting in the game: the history of the slot machine in Ontario

When mechanic Charles (August) Fey first introduced his slot machine gadget in the late 1890s, who could have guessed how incredibly popular it would become with people who liked to play games of chance. However, it took almost 100 years before that popularity could be officially enjoyed in Ontario. With the opening of the first provincial casino in Windsor in May 1994, Ontarians got the chance to enjoy the jackpot chimes and feel the exhilaration of playing close to home.

Casino Windsor

In those early days, the Art Gallery in Windsor served as the interim site for Casino Windsor while the permanent resort casino, now Caesars Windsor, was under construction. That first casino was so popular that a fully operational faux-steamboat named the Northern Belle was brought in to serve the overflow crowds. Docked on the Windsor shoreline across the river from Detroit, the Northern Belle welcomed its first players in December 1995.

Northern Belle

There are many great stories about slot machines. How they are designed today. How they evolved over the years with the advance of technology. What all those whacky symbols – bells, cherries, pineapples – mean. Keep an eye on this space for more interesting tidbits about one of most popular games of chance… the ubiquitous slot machine.

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