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In the high-tech world of 21st-century casinos, electronic gaming cards have become the standard for tracking gambling and rewarding customers for their loyalty. Nowadays player cards are no longer only used to track the game, but to allow players to play slot machines for free.

Almost every casino rewards its customers nowadays with free rolls which became so popular that they are also offered by many online casinos instead of cash bonuses but why was free play in casinos the norm and what happened with the cash which the casinos in former times gave away? The answers you can find in this article about the history of the free game in the gambling industry.

Until the 1970s, casino casinos faced some problems. They took a lot of money, but it was practically impossible to know in real-time how much money the machines collected. Casinos had to open every machine and count the coins in it to get an overview of the financial situation. While table players and their bets were relatively easy to track, it was much more difficult to control slot players. Play roulette online on

This changed, however, as slot machines became extremely popular by the legalization of gambling in Atlantic City. Suddenly, casinos filled their gambling halls with hundreds of slots, and the traditional method of monitoring the gambling machines was no longer justifiable.

The situation led to the development of electronic slot monitoring systems in the ’80s and’ 90s, which gave casinos insight into how many coins were thrown into a machine and how many were paid – and events such as high jackpots were also recorded. Since the machines could now be tracked electronically, the logical next step was a system that could track and evaluate players. The electronic player card was born. Initially, casinos installed a loyalty program where customers were able to collect points during the game and trade them against prices such as television or toasters. However, this system did not last long, as casinos spent a lot of money on these prizes, and players had no way to re-position their winnings. The legendary quote from a casino manager is: “No toast can be put into a slot machine.”

Afterward, casinos offered to exchange points for cash, which was hoping that players would put this cash directly back into the machines. But this system also caused problems because too many players simply took the cash and lost the casino.

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