The first slot machine was invented in 1894 by Charles August Fey, an American mechanic in San Francisco. His four-and-a-half-cent machine was a success at the local saloon and he built several more. The 4-11-44 was a coin-operated gambling machine with three and five-coin multipliers. When the player pulls the handle, the reels spin, and the payout amounts are proportional to the number of coins inserted. Modern slot machines can be classified into two types: video and electromechanical. Video slot machines simulate the spinning reels on a monitor.
The computer program in a slot machine is based on random number generation. It cycles through thousands of random numbers per second until it stops at a particular number, which corresponds to a symbol on the reels. The symbols on the reels differ from machine to machine, but in most cases, the symbols on the reels are similar, with the exception of special features like bonus rounds. In addition to the payout percentage, a slot machine can also incorporate different weightings in the symbols to increase the odds of a winning combination.
The Government of Canada has only a minimal role in the regulation of gambling. As defined in the Canadian Criminal Code, gambling falls under the provinces and territories. All provinces have gaming boards. There are no federal laws that prohibit private owners from operating slot machines. They are available in many places, including casinos. But they are regulated in every state by the Gambling Commission, as are all gambling activities in Canada. You can read more about the history of slot machines and their regulation here.