Bally Technologies is a Las Vegas-based slot machine and gaming technology manufacturer. The company is one of the largest slot machine producers in North America, operating as one of the chief rivals of International Game Technology (IGT). These days, Bally Technologies produces not only land-based slot machines, but also online video slots. Bally’s combined revenue for 2013 was just under $1 billion, while its total assets are estimated to be $979 million. At the moment, Richard “Dick” Hadrill is the Bally’s CEO.
Though it is one of the largest gaming technology companies on the planet, Bally has had a tumultuous path to the top. In fact, two unconnected companies have claims as the predecessor to Bally. The following guide to Bally Technologies provides the background for both companies, then discusses individual innovations and slots titles that Bally customers might use. I’ll start with a short company history.
When the parent company now known as Bally Technologies Incorporated was founded in 1968, it was given the name “Advanced Patent Technology”. The company founders were Jack Solomon and Alvin Snapper, who held patents in the fields of medicine, electronics, and optics.
Advanced Patent went public in 1969, but did not manufacture products for the first 12 years of its existence. Instead, it invented new devices, eventually developing a portfolio with over 80 patents. The company received significant publicity for five inventions: a fuel system for combustion engines, a louvered television screen, an ultrasonic meat tenderizer, an ultrasonic endodontics device, and an ultrasonic dry cleaning machine. These gave the company a reputation in its first decade in existence.
Meanwhile, a new CEO took over the company: C. Richard Iannone. In a subsequent interview, Iannone says he was told by an advisor not to take the job, because the company “wouldn’t last six months”. Instead, the company’s CEO cut expenses and restructured the company’s debt situation. By 1983, Advanced Patent Technologies had effected a turnaround. In March 1983, the company changed its name to Gaming and Technology Inc. Ironically, the Colorado Belle Hotel was sold to Circus-Circus in 1984, because it was seen by Gaming and Technology Inc. as unprofitable.
Change continues throughout the Eighties. In 1985, Gaming & Technology merged with Omega Enterprises through its subsidiary, Cal Omega. The merger was accomplished through a reverse acquisition, in which Gaming & Technology acquired the assets of Omega Enterprises. Omega’s shareholders received 72.5% of Gaming and Technology Inc.’s stock, in compensation.
After the takeover, Alfred Wims, one of the owners of Omega, became CEO of the combined operations. Slot machine sales were slow in the mid-to-late 1980’s, so United Coin’s slot route operations represented 80% of the company’s revenues. When the Cal Omega plant in California was closed, the company changed its name in 1988 to United Gaming Inc.
In 1989, Alfred Wims launched a plan to build 5 mini-casinos. To build the venues, he borrowed $40 million. Eventually, the company dropped plans for two of the casinos. Around the same time, it began missing debt payments in the winter of 1990-91. By September 1991, debt was restructured and the company was solvent, though Wims did have to close Miss Lucy’s Casino in early 1992. To increase revenue flow, United Gaming bought two racetracks down in Louisiana and had gaming machines placed in them.
In 1993, Alfred Wims sold 11% of the company and control of the board of directors to Kirkland-Fort Worth Investment Partners. Kirkland had ties to–and may have been controlled by–Texas investor Richard Rainwater. Richard Rainwater’s connections to George W. Bush (through the Texas Rangers baseball franchise) in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election became a campaign issue. At the time, Rainwater’s role at Kirkland was downplayed, because Major League Baseball did not want its owners having any connection to the gaming industry.
Under the control of Kirkland, Gaming & Technologies began to expand operations. G&T Inc. purchased casinos in Evansville, Indiana; Dubuque, Iowa; and Vicksburg, Mississippi. The company also purchased a 43% stake in Capital Gaming International, which was partnering with a number of Native American tribes to build Indian casinos. In December 1994, Gaming and Technologies changed its name to Alliance Gaming Corporation. A press release at the time said the name-change reflected the company’s “revitalization and redefinition”.
In 1996, Alliance Gaming acquired Bally Gaming International, which once was a division of the Bally Manufacturing. Bally Manufacturing had been founded in 1932 as a pinball machine manufacturer. The Chicago-based company began building slot machines after World War II and had become a leading manufacturer in the post-war decades. By 1995, though, Bally Manufacturing was defunct. Parts of the company were sold, including the Alliance Gaming acquisition.
In 2006, Alliance Gaming decided to change its name to Bally Technologies Incorporated. The company’s New York Stock Exchange trading code became “BYI”. In 2007, Bally celebrated its 75th anniversary by commissioning Christian Marfels, author of “Bally: The World’s Game Maker” to write a second edition of his book. As one can see, Bally Technologies might trace its real origin back to Advanced Patent Technology’s founding in 1968, but Bally actually dates its official founding back to the Chicago-area pinball machine manufacturer of the 1930’s.
The company entered the gaming industry in 1979, when it bought United Coin Machine Company. United Coin was one of the biggest slot machine route operators in Nevada, and it soon became the biggest revenue producer for the patent company. Advanced Patent also planned the Colorado Belle Hotel & Casino in Laughlin, Nevada.
This plan proved disastrous, because it brought unwanted scrutiny from the SEC. The SEC launched an investigation in July 1980 and alleged inadequate financial disclosure and sale of unregistered stock. The Nevada Gaming Commission began to investigate, and Jack Solomon was forced to step down as one of the conditions for licensing the Colorado Belle Casino. Three new directors were added to the board, but questions still remained. Trading of Advanced Patent stocked was suspended for 10 day in March 1981. The company remained under SEC investigation until 1983, when the SEC dropped the matter.
With such a colorful company history, it’s probably no surprise that the products offered by Bally are varied and creative. Over the years, Bally Technologies went from producing pinball machines to controlling slots routing to manufacturing its own land-based and online video slots. A complete list of Bally slots would be a jumble, so I wanted to discuss particular types of one-armed bandits available.
On this website, we’ll discuss each of these various slots titles in their own turn.
Bally Technologies has many of the famous slots you’ll see in brick-and-mortar casinos. In most cases, online gamblers can find the Internet version of such games when playing Bally’s slot machines online. Titles you might know include Vegas Hits, Cash Spin, Cash Wizard, Choy, Cupid & Psyche, Mayan Treasures, Roll the Bones, Sumo Kitty, Wild Huskies, Blazing Hot Tournament, ESKAY, To Tell The Truth, Hot Shot, Fireball, and Reel Money.
These are just a few of the Bally slot machine apps we’ve played. Bally Technologies has marketed hundreds of titles over the years including the new Bally slot machines for Android. Name any type of slot machines and Bally has its version: 3-reel classics, interactive video slots, flat tops, progressive jackpots, and licensed slots. Because the company has a reputation for the licensed gaming machine, I wanted to focus on that topic for a second.
Bally Technologies also manufacturers a number of licensed slots. A licensed slot machine takes an existing pop culture phenomenon or franchise and turns it into a playable slot machine. Notable licensed slots produced by Bally Technologies include Beach Boys, Betty Boop, TITANIC (movie), NASCAR, Pawn Stars, Playboy, Michael Jackson: King of Pop, Hee Haw, Grease (“Grease Pink Ladies”), Concentration, Let’s Make a Deal, ZZ Top, and David Copperfield.
The titles listed on this page are just a glimpse of the full selection of Bally Technologies slots machines. Keep reading this website for an ever-expanding directory of Bally slot machines.