Who are Bally Slots?
Writing about casino software companies is generally a strictly 21st Century focused activity. Some early adopters do stretch back as far as the dying end of the previous century, but the internet was a comparatively new phenomenon then, and online gaming was in its infancy, if not positively embryonic. So it is unusual to be able to describe an organisation whose heritage dates back to a different era entirely.
A Delve into the History of Bally Slots
The roots of Bally can be traced back to before the Second World War, which is positively ancient for a technology company. Indeed, when the original company was founded there were no computers, let alone a world wide web.
It was 1932 when Bally Technologies was first formed, in Las Vegas, Nevada. In its early years the fledgling company was firmly focused on the design and manufacture of real world slot machines. Very successful it was too, with further moves into lottery systems and other gaming machines during the post war years helping it to develop into a major player in the casino gaming business.
The advent of computer and console gaming in the late 1970s and 80s saw the company diversify into virtual as well as real world gaming. This too, was successful, and the company are responsible for a good range of excellent online slot designs.
The original Bally Technologies company has undergone a succession of name changes and its ownership has changed hands on a number of occasions. The company has been known as Bally Manufacturing, Bally Gaming International and a variety of other names over its near century of existence.
The company has also faced financial problems over the years, often as a result of mismanagement and over borrowing. Various divisions have been sold off to pay down debt, at different points. As a result, the company’s history resembles a complex family tree of relationships, but throughout this time, it has always maintained its ability to produce excellent games.
It was this ability to produce results in both realms of the gaming industry which drew it to the attention of the giant Scientific Games group. A takeover had first been suggested during the 1990s, but it was not until around twenty years later that the Scientific Games group’s wooing finally reached consummation. This came in 2014, when the group’s acquisition of Bally was finally agreed. The total value of the deal was over estimated to be over $5 billion.
Current CEO Kevin M. Sheehan continues to lead the company. He has been tasked with maintaining Bally’s market leading real world gaming machine operation. Meanwhile, other subsidiaries within the Scientific Games conglomerate are tasked with focusing on the online software design side of the business.
Bally Technologies Games
Bally have produced a wide range of slots over the years. Their focus has always been on real world and land based machine design and manufacture. This means that many of their online slot titles are based on an earlier casino machine format. This is no bad thing – the conversions are good, and their games frequently have a proven track record of popularity and success in real life casinos.
In recent years, the strategy of its new owners has meant that the focus of the company has been ever more focused on its land based operations. This has meant that its slot portfolio is beginning to look a little dated when compared to the games produced by today’s online gaming software giants.
Nevertheless, their slots cover just about all the popular slot genres and more besides. Bally slots were top notch in their day, and include some truly classic games. They have stood the test of time and will be particularly attractive to players looking for some nostalgic thrills. Such titles include slots like Cash Wizard, Moon Goddess, Thunderhorn and Wild Huskies.
Above all, Bally are renowned for their officially licenced games. They are the masters at converting movies, TV series and board games into smash hit slots. There are numerous examples of this talent, but perhaps the most successful has been their officially licenced Monopoly series. Based on the original Waddington’s board game, this rampant ‘property speculation gone mad’ classic has been re-purposed in a variety of slot formats.
Classic TV series have also been frequent recipients of a Bally makeover. These include classic cartoon character Betty Boop. The TV incarnation of the original DC Comic character Wonder Woman also has an excellent Bally slot version. But perhaps the best known and most popular Bally TV conversion is the classic US sitcom Friends.
Big screen movies to get the Bally treatment include Anchorman, Grease, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Titanic. The company has also been responsible for some excellent officially licenced music slots, such as Michael Jackson: King of Pop and ZZ Top.
In Summary – Bally Slots & Games
Bally remains a large organisation whilst under the wing of the Scientific Games group of companies. It still has a recognisably separate structure, but its business strategy is largely set by its Scientific Games conglomerate owners.
Bally are responsible for the employment of over a thousand employees, many of whom continue to live and work in the Las Vegas and greater Nevada area. The company also has a large workforce based in India, and additional offices in Mexico and Argentina.
Today, Bally continues to focus on land based casino gaming and sports betting machines, and its lottery systems business. Although it does still have a software gaming design operation, much of this work is now done by other companies within the Scientific Games umbrella. New slot releases are few and far between for Bally now, so it is its legacy games which you are most likely to find at your favoured Apple Pay Casino.