Bookies Roulette, All About Bookmakers FOBT’s

Bookies rouletteHere at penny roulette we’re huge fans of both online and high street versions of bookies roulette. So we thought we’d scope the history of those bookie’s FOBT (Fixed Odds Betting Terminal) simulators to help you swat up on the subject. After all, a good player should know his opponent.

“It’s better to know your enemy before battle, to know everything about them, to learn their history and to study where they came from!

It’s also worth reading about how an FOBT machine works to see how modern technology is used to decide the fate of your winning or losing situations whilst gambling on electronic simulators. In 1976 fruit machines led the way forward for other gaming technologies to develop, FOBT roulette has grown significantly since 2001 that some want to stop it. So when did this all start?

The Time Line of Roulette Machines

For many FOBT games in pubs, betting shops and casinos have become the staple source of entertainment for the modern player, but for the critics, roulette machines are considered the crack cocaine of gambling. These 6 foot simulators didn’t just turn up overnight. This article looks at the background of the UK’s most popular high street spinner, the roulette machine.

Subject to popular debate and controversy, FOBT machines are a major headache for the governments gambling commission, rumored that one day these bookies games will become more regulated or even banned completely.

Highly interactive and by some claims, addictive, us Brits will think nothing of pouring billions into these things each year. Even though most us play responsible FOBT gaming, and yet despite people winning on roulette machines, they are now persecuted by many and labelled a mentor for problem gambling. So how did something so controversial become so popular for fans of casinos famous wheel?

The Beginning

We can trace the origins of early concepts for simulators right back to the 1960’s. Already mechanical slots with three reel features were flooding the lobbies of the early casinos, it was then that other experiments began with roulette.

The problem with simulating the roulette wheel was trying to govern a complete random sequence, after all, the only reason the number zero is on the table is to tilt house odds. However, at this time, the technology just wasn’t available to deal with such variables.

“The early challenges including trying to create software that could replicate odds and chance fairly”


In 1976, it was, in fact, the fruit machine revolution that began tapping into the world of electronics, technology that would later pave the way for successful roulette machine applications. It was the Fortune Coin Co.

The Las Vegas, based company that directed the operation that successfully simulated a video interpretation of moving reels on a Sony Trinitron color receiver and display. In 1978, the technology was purchased by the International Gaming Technology; it was the birth of electronic gambling machines.


The 1980’s brought the computer age and with it the development of Random Number Generators (RNG) via microprocessors. Software that could be tailor made for specific odds, details, and timings for payout tables.

These codes would effectively manage the winning and losing scenarios within each game; they would control bonuses, specific placement of symbols and when exactly a jackpot would pay out. It would be RNG roulette software that would tell the ball where to land on the screen.


The history of roulette machines in the 90’s and for this decade was possibly the stalemate before the bookies FOBT boom that followed the millennium. It was during this time that the games became popular in casinos and the lobbies of bingo halls. Even some pubs had fruit machines with very similar traits to the roulette table, roulette themed slots were on the increase.

By the mid 90,’ s developers had perfected the simulation of the roulette and other gambling activities. With virtual machines claiming payouts of around 97.3 percent fixed odds betting, terminals were becoming all the rage in the casinos and bookmakers that began to acquire them.

“The late 90’s is responsible for the birth of simulated roulette thanks to a surge in electronics development and probability software”


By the year 2000, games could offer high-speed, high-stakes betting via touch screen panels that stood over six feet tall in arcade style cases. These offered players a video game adaptation of one the casino industries most exciting classics.

The months that followed the Millennium celebrations included much talk about gambling and how the then Labour Government could profit more from high street betting companies. It was the beginning of the roulette machine boom, a growth that would see over 32,000 terminals enter Britain’s bookies shops.

The Roulette Machine Boom

In 2001, it was Chancellor Gordon Brown’s decision to abolish duty on individual bets in exchange for taxing bookies gross profits. It’s now made roulette machines more valuable to bookmakers and led to a significant demand for the games terminals.

Over the next ten years, the growth in this gambling area was astronomical. If, not for legislation in 2005 that limited the amount of virtual roulette that these shops could hold, there is no telling how many FOBT roulette games could have made it to the streets.

Modern gamblers, roulette machines and the future of FOBT

As of today there are more than 35,000 fixed odds roulette simulators known to the Governments Gambling Commission, with the future of this number open to much debate.

There is no arguing that these games don’t provide both an opportunity and entertainment for a mass of followers, yet there is much research into the possibility that these devices may recruit problem gambling in betting shops. But there is no call to remove chocolate bars from the shelves of sweet shops just because some people get addicted to cocoa beans.

“The higher payout rates surrounding betting terminals and roulette machines have made the game popular”

Handing in a betting slip for a horse race or a football match is yielding returns to players of around 85%. When you compare that with electronic roulette’s own 93.7 %, then you begin to see the big picture of why this game found it’s placement in modern gambling.

People do win on roulette machines, and people do walk away with those winnings, but it’s just like with most things, too much of something can become a bad thing.

FOBT machines have found their place in modern gambling history, and the future of digital gaming has no limits. Whether you love them or hate them, have beaten them, lost to them, won something, walked away or kicked ten tonnes of s#*t out of them.

Roulette machines are one of the gambling world’s greatest inventions and should they disappear the years to come. At least we got to spin em.

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