The production of slots has become an increasingly competitive market in recent years. Not long ago, in the 1970’s, approximately 90 percent of the market was owned by one company, Bally Gaming Systems. Therefore, during that time, if you were to play a slot machine it is most likely that you were playing one made by Bally. Now there are well over a dozen slot machine manufacturers in the market, including software designers that create slot machines for online casinos. Following, though not a comprehensive list, is a sample of some of the biggest names in the field of traditional slot machine manufacturing.
AC Coin & Slot was founded in 1978 in Pleasantville, New Jersey. I don’t know about you, but when I watched Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire in Pleasantville, I had no idea the town was real. I certainly didn’t think it was in New Jersey, though parts of the Garden State seem pleasant enough. Any way, AC Coin & Slot started building slot machines around the same time gambling was legalized in New Jersey and currently, in addition to selling their own slots, are the exclusive distributor of slots made by International Game Technology in Atlantic City.
Aruze Corporation, based in Japan, produces slot machines and other products. They are licensed to manufacture and distribute slot machines in Nevada, New Jersey and pg Mississippi. Aruze Gaming America, their U.S. branch, is based in Vegas and is a 100%-owned subsidiary.
Atronic Americas is not, like you might expect, a company based in North, South or Central America. It’s actually a German company. For some reason, they didn’t think Atronic Deutchland sounded good. It has a nice ring if you ask me. Anyway, the company began in 1994 and has become the third-largest slot machine manufacturer in the world.
Bally Gaming Systems is the original big boy on the scene. Started in 1968, it has operated under a variety of names, including Bally Technologies, and manufactured the first multi-coin slot and the first video multi-coin slot. Though they don’t have a stranglehold on the market like they used to, Bally is still a dominant name in the industry. They are not related to Bally Total Fitness.
International Game Technology (IGT) is a manufacturer based on Reno, Nevada, home of Lieutenant Jim Dangle and his fine deputies. IGT is a multinational corporation, with branch offices located across the globe and is the largest slot machine manufacturer in the world. They were an innovator in popularizing wide-area progressive slots and created a ticketed system called EZ-Pay.
Konami Gaming is the gambling division of the Japanese company best known for creating popular video games played in arcades and on Nintendos across the world. How awesome is Konami? They created Castlevania. Enough said. They have been manufacturing slots since 1973, but have only distributed slots in the United States since 2003. They are now licensed in Nevada and several tribal territories in America.
Mikohn Gaming is a relative newcomer to slot machine manufacturing. They are based in Las Vegas and began in 1996. The majority of the games they develop and market belong to IGT.
In addition to slot machines for land-based casinos, there are some companies that specialize in designing software for online slots. Though there are many companies in this field, there are a handful of big names that are dominating the market.
Microgaming is a software development company based in the Isle of Man. They claim to have released the first online casino in 1994 and manufacture online slots for almost 100 casinos. In addition to slots, they also design games for poker, blackjack, roulette and more.
Playtech identifies themselves as the world’s largest publicly traded online gaming software developer, and I could find nothing to refute that claim. They design a wide array of games, including slots and various table games.
Real Time Gaming (RTG) was founded in 1998 in Curacao. They are best known for their progressive slots and are one of the leaders in their manufacturing. RTG is one of the few online game designers not to develop their own policy regarding American customers subsequent to the United States Congress passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. Instead, they let each of their clients decide whether they will accept American players.
Vegas Technology is not, as you might guess, based in Las Vegas. Nope. They are located in Antigua and were founded in 1997. Vegas Technology is best known for their video slots and for the fact that you do not need to download any software to play their games.
With all of the manufacturers of slots machines there is an incredible variety of themes and reel combinations.