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A cocktail waitress shows a drunk patron how to use the atm while the dancer who lifted his wallet calls in his credit cards

An Automated Teller Machine or “ATM” is a devise designed to enable peoples compulsions. It was first conceived in 1946 by Benjamin “Buggsy” Siegel to allow patrons of his Las Vegas Flamingo Casino to divest themselves of their life savings, technology did not catch up to the concept until the early 1970’s.


Seminal Moment

In March 1973, BankAmericard (Later known as Visa) was approached by NCR representatives to launch the “ATM” on the Bank of America Network. B of A and BankAmericard were first skeptical, but NCR had some great selling points.

B of A was worried that people would draw down their accounts and leave the bank with reduced assets. NCR countered that not only could B of A charge fees for allowing people access to their own money in deposit accounts but further could allow people to run up the balance on their BankAmericard, charge a large fee for this service and all without having to pay a live teller a thing. B of A ordered 4700 machines sight unseen.

Introduction into service


As large amounts of cash are stored within, ATMs run on failsafe software.

ATM’s were first located at banking locations. With banking regulation still in place, Privately owned ATM’s were still not available. This this saw the introduction of neighborhood branch banking. Often located in grocery stores where one or two tellers might be scheduled to work per week but the location was essentially intended to provide a place to set up an ATM.

ATM’s took off like a rocket in the late 1980’s with the deregulation of interstate banking. First Interstate Bank “FIB” was among the first banks to offer their network to private owners of ATM’s as a clearing house for transactions.

The most evident result of this was the placement of ATM’s in liquor stores, strip clubs and casinos. One of the largest networks of private ATM’s was owned by Boyd Gaming of Las Vegas who could now provide casino patrons with cash on demand 24/7. Only a ruling by the Nevada Gaming Commission stopped Boyd Gaming from allowing slot machines from excepting ATM cards.

Business Growth attributed to 24 Hour Cash Access

Prostitution, Crack and powdered cocaine sales. Strip Clubs (See Cheetahs Gentleman's Club, Casino Gambling.

Organizations Lobbying for more ATM's

Vice has gained the most from the explosion of ATM locations. Below is a short list of campaign contributors and lobbying organizations.

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