It may be hard to believe, but the history of Monopoly can be traced back to 1903 when Lizzie Magie was created as a game which explained the single-tax theory of Henry George. This was intended to be an educational tool to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies. She ended up taking out a patent for this game and it become The Landlord's Game in 1906.
After this time, many variants of The Landlord's Game were developed but none stood out as much as the original. The game was played by Charles Todd and Esther Jones who ended up showing the game to Charles Darrow. He asked for the written rules of the game and realised there was money in this game. He rewrote the rules and distributed the game as Monopoly.
Take over from the Parker Brothers
After the Parkers Brothers (now Hasbro) realised that Monopoly was going to be big, they bought the copyrights from Darrow as well as buying the right from Magie. They began marketing the game in November 1935 with Cartoonist F. O. Alexander contributing the design. The original version of the game was based on the streets of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
By 1936, the Parker Brothers began licensing outside of the USA and the British Secret Intelligence Service created a special edition for World War II prisoners of war held by Nazis with hidden items stored in this game such as maps, compasses and other useful objects for escaping. These were distributed to prisoners by fake charity organisations.
Hasbro gains the rights
In 1991, Hasbro acquired the Parks Brothers company and therefore gained the rights to Monopoly and the rest is history! After this moment, Hasbro moved to create and licence many other versions of the game.
Today there are over 300 licensed versions of Monopoly ranging from branded and easy-to-understand children's versions of the game to bizarre and expensive versions such as a bright pink Juicy Couture edition and a £10,000 Harrods Deluxe edition! It's fair to say this simple game played after dinner in a Philadelphian dining room has come a long long way.
A giant in iGaming
There are over 30 online slots inspired by Monopoly with some huge titles including Monopoly Big Spin, Monopoly Megaways, Monopoly Lunar New Year and Monopoly Electric Wins to name just a few.
There are even social casinos hosting Monopoly slots allowing players to play for free but uses in-app purchases to buy in-game coins to be used.
However, the fun doesn't stop there, as there the Monopoly brand has even pushed into live casino game shows with Monopoly Live and Monopoly Big Baller. In addition to the live casino games, there is even a Slingo game called Slingo Monopoly.
A recognisable brand
Monopoly is synonymous with people across the globe, so it comes as no surprise that slot developers purchased the exclusive rights to create Monopoly branded slots in the 1990s. First and foremost, IGT held the exclusive rights and produced many titles over the years on both physical slot machines and at online slot sites.
Sadly, by 2016, IGT lost the rights and Hasbro awarded it to WMS (under Scientific Games). By 2022, the brand of Monopoly passed to Light & Wonder (the newly rebranded SG Digital) and continues to flourish even today with multiple slots and games being released every year.