Basketball is now one of the most popularly played and followed sports in the world, having remained largely faithful to its origins, albeit with a few adaptions over the last century or so since the game was first created. Shooting Hoops-

The humble beginnings of basketball- Shooting Hoops

While basketball is enjoyed all around the globe, with top leagues including the NBA and international tournaments like the FIBA World Cup, it all began in what is considered to be an era of enlightenment and invention, late in the 19th century.

The game was invented by a Springfield College instructor and graduate student, James Naismith in 1891, who originally hailed from Canada, before his tenure at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School. It was during this tenure he devised the sport of basketball.

Naismith sought a vigorous and physically demanding indoor game, one that could be played on rainy days. Having considered many existing activities to be too rough or poorly suited to indoor play, he came up with the idea of basketball himself.

This new game involved passing a laced leather soccer ball between players, with the aim of trying to score points by shooting that ball into a basket mounted on the wall. The initial hoops were actually peach baskets, nailed to an elevated track, which later had the bottoms removed.

Little did Naismith know as he wrote the original rules in December 1891, just how popular the game of basketball would become.  Within a few years and before the turn of the century, the game was established at numerous women’s schools and men’s colleges. By 1898, the first professional league was formed, while the NBA didn’t arrive until 1946.

These days, basketball is now an internationally recognised sport, the NBA is the most famous league in the world and boasts the biggest stars, plus time and technology have also made their mark on the game. But did you know, there’s another hugely popular pastime that was also invented around the same time as basketball?


The rise of the one-armed bandit

During the same period that Naismith invented basketball, while the sport began to spread like wildfire across North America, another popular pursuit was also created and gained notoriety just as quickly.

In 1891, the very same year Naismith first introduced basketball to his students, a company named Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York, was busy developing a gambling machine. Their creation was actually the precursor to modern slot machines, built with five drums that featured fifty playing cards.

This wacky poker machine was an instant hit in bars and restaurants around New York, as punters inserted a nickel and pulled the single lever, which led to the one-armed bandit name. Mostly they would lose, yet lucky winners would claim free drinks or cigars as their prize.

The Evolution of Shooting Hoops & Spinning ReelsOver on the west coast in San Francisco and around the same time, Bavarian-born American inventor Charles August Fey was also trying to devise his own gambling machine, although his made the great stride of incorporating an automated payout mechanism. Instead of playing cards, 

Fey also introduced the idea of mechanical spinning reels, featuring five symbols – horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts, and the iconic Liberty Bell. The latter would lend its name to the first machines the inventor produced, which soon became hugely popular throughout California.

As the popularity of this Liberty Bell machine spread throughout the country, other manufacturers copied the idea. By 1963 Bally developed the first fully electromechanical slot machine, calling it Honey Money. Fortune Coin Co. then developed the first video slot in 1976, featuring a modified Sony Triniton TV.


The merging of sports & entertainment genres

Since the advent of the internet, both basketball and slot machines have continued to enjoy phenomenal growth in popularity. Thanks to high-speed home and mobile connections, millions of people can watch live sports at their own convenience, wherever they are at the time.

Likewise, the vast improvements in home and mobile communications have been a boon for the gambling industry. In the past, people would visit casinos or bars if they wanted to play on slot machines, yet over the last couple of decades, all that has changed.

In pretty much every country around the globe, people can log into online gaming sites and play whatever takes their fancy, including thousands of themed slots. Looking for instant payout casinos in South Africa with all the leading online slots? Then look no further, as there’s a guide at covering the best instant withdrawal casinos.

casinoMovies and TV shows have become popular themes for slots, although some of the most played are those featuring sports, including a variety with their own take on basketball. This winning combination of shooting hoops and spinning reels has inspired numerous games.

Such is the allure of the fusion between basketball and slots, even former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman has his very own game developed by PlayTech, based on 5 reels and 20 paylines with 37 winning combinations.

Finally, and to underline just how much the two have combined, the NBA2K series of basketball simulations also feature in-game casinos, where players can earn VC points to improve their players in MyCareer mode. Indeed, shooting hoops and spinning reels have never been tighter.


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