What does skimming at the Las Vegas casinos and inventing the dot marix printer have to do with each other?

Las Vegas Casino skimming was a large problem for the FBI in the 1960s. Skimming was the way Las Vegas casinos avoided taxes by illegally siphoning off gambling profits and routing those funds to a number of organized crime syndicates across the nation.

Robert Howard started the company Centronics Data Computer Corporation to develop casino accounting systems to reduce skimming in Las Vegas and hired Prentice Robinson to develop the system. Robinson needed a low-cost printer to print reports and, “incidentally,” invented the dot matrix printer to accomplish this task.

Howard got Brother Industries of Japan, the world’s largest sewing machine manufacturer, to design and build all but the electronics and the dot matrix printer was launched.

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