The History & Background to IGT Casinos
IGT is a top notch games designer which you can find on many of today’s best apple pay casino sites. They produce a small but top quality range of games, covering many popular genres, plus a good selection of renowned TV and movie themed titles too. Their games are very phone friendly. They look good and play well on any kind of device, from the most compact smart phone to the widest screened desktop PC or Mac. We’ll reveal some of these excellent slots later, but first, let’s take a look at the complicated history of this highly regarded outfit.
IGT are a truly massive name in the online gaming industry, with a worldwide operation and years of history to prove it. Founded way back in 1975, before the age of the internet, or even the mobile phone, this company arrived when flared jeans were the latest fashion and glam rock ruled the airwaves on the UK’s only pop music radio station, Radio 1.
But just like music and fashion, the company has undergone radical change since the days of The Sweeney and Starsky and Hutch (younger readers may need to ask their parents or even grandparents about these). International Game Technology was originally based in Las Vegas in the United States, involved in designing and distributing real world slot machines.
Like many such companies, it has undergone numerous take overs, buy outs, capital injections and mergers since then, making its family tree a complicated picture indeed. In fact, it only became IGT in 1981, after name changes from the original A-1 Supply and a subsequent re-brand as Sircoma. This was also the year the company went public for the first time, encouraged by the success of its new video poker machine. This earned it a place on the American NASDAQ stock exchange.
A crucial move came with the acquisition by the company of Electronic Data Technologies in 1974. As the name suggests, this company was at the forefront of developments in the new computer industry. This enabled IGT to place itself in the vanguard of the technology, which slowly replaced the old traditional mechanical slot machines with computer and microprocessor driven designs.
This computerisation of slots offered the company the ability to introduce modern day game management tools and the opportunity to improve marketing to their casino partners’ customers. It also enabled the company to take advantage of the wealth of gaming and player data which they could now derive from the new automation. This enabled them to network their machines, and provide networked promotions and progressive jackpots in their licensees’ casinos.
1991 saw the company seeking a further injection of funds. The resulting share issue saw the company achieve a full listing on the New York stock exchange. This additional investment gave the company the necessary funds to expand beyond North America. International offices were set up in Argentina and South Africa, and the acquisition of the UK based Barcrest Gaming saw the company reach across the pond to Europe for the first time.
The Development of IGT Slots
It was not really until the 21st Century that the IGT first started to diversify from land based technology into the online world of slots. This effort was boosted with the takeover of renowned digital games design company WagerWorks. The company set about improving its online presence, setting up a dedicated Interactive Division in 2010. This largely consisted of an enhanced re-organisation of its previous WagerWorks acquisition.
By 2014, the company had a close to thirty year record of being a voracious swallower of smaller rivals as it developed into a multi-national operation. But this was the year that the biter got bit, as Italian gaming giants Gtech stepped in with an agreement to buy out the American giant for a total of close to $6.5m.
The merged company opted to retain the name of the acquired American company, rather than the brand of the buyer. So the name Gtech was quietly retired, and the newly combined company became International Game Technology PLC, or IGT for short.
The merged company is itself owned, via a complex web of corporate relationships, by the Italian multi-national gaming technology company De Agostini. To add to the confusion, this now Italian owned company, of largely American heritage, with bases across the globe, is headquartered in London.
IGT continues to be predominantly a real world casino technology company – now with a presence on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica. It has a total of over 12,000 employees, located in offices all around the world. Its interactive online games design division is a crucial part of the organisation, and is building a deserved reputation as one of the best designers of new games in the business.
With the focus of the company remaining on its land based casino clients, the range of online slot games provided by its dedicated Interactive Division remains small by comparison with many of its competitors. Nevertheless, it is responsible for the design of well over fifty different slots titles, and many of these are iconic titles, some of the most popular games around today.
One such title is Cleopatra. This Egyptian themed game is a classic of the genre. So much so that despite its relative age (it truly is worthy of the description “vintage”) it remains probably the most played game in what is an extremely crowded field. So popular does it remain, that it has spawned several sequels. These include the inevitable Cleopatra 2, but also a Cleopatra progressive jackpot version, while the innovative Cleopatra Plus takes the whole theme to a brand new level. In all the different incarnations of the game, the graphics remain true to the Pharaonic theme, with hieroglyph style reel symbols and some truly atmospheric soundtracks.
But it’s not all about the pyramids with IGT slots. There are plenty of other great titles too, such as Balloonies, Siberian Storm and Wheel of Fortune. The company have also acquired the rights to produce some superb classic TV and movie spin off games, such as Family Guy, Ghostbusters and Star Trek.
So if you do stumble across an unfamiliar IGT design when you are looking for a new game to play, it is likely to be well worth a try. The quantity of games may be relatively low, but the quality is consistently high.