Bally Technologies barely needs an introduction to slots fans. But here's one anyway.
Producing top slot machines, video slots and online slots since the late '60s, Bally has gone through plenty of turmoil during its life but it arguably boasts some of the best-loved slot machines in the world.
From the Strip casinos of Vegas to the pubs and clubs of Australia, Bally slots can be found almost anywhere. Let's take a closer look at how Bally grew to become one of the major players.
The story of Bally is really the story of two distinct companies: Bally Gaming and Advanced Patent Technology. The latter started off its existence in 1968 when founders Alvin Snapper and Jack Solomon set up the firm as a medical products manufacturer.
But it wasn't until 1979 that the newly-monikered Alliance Gaming entered the gaming market with the acquisition of slots giant, the United Coin Machine Company.
The firm's own casino - the Colorado Belle - followed and began a process of providing casinos in America with its unique brand of slot machine. Within a few years, the company had grown to become the world's largest provider of slot machines.
Bally Gaming, meanwhile, had - as Bally Manufacturing - been producing pinball machines and mechanical slot machines since the 1930s.
In 1963 the company released the 'Money Honey' pokie machine, which at that time was the first machine to feature a motor and electronic 'hopper'. The game was revolutionary, allowing for much bigger prize payouts.
Bally was able to move forward in the 1970s when Atlantic City legalised gambling, and bolstered its position in the 1980s with acquisitions of major Vegas casinos like the MGM Grand. It was later renamed Bally's Las Vegas and remains open to this day.
This is where Alliance Gaming re-enters the story. With the 1995 buy-out of Bally Gaming by Alliance, the firm finally changed name to Bally Technologies Inc. in 2006. Along the way, however, many businesses across the world had used the Bally name for various spin-offs and gaming projects.
By then, Bally had made more history with the 1994 release of 'Game Maker'. It was the first touch-screen slot to be launched in casinos anywhere in the world while also allowing players access from any one of 10 different slots.
As if pioneering machines wasn't enough, the 'Thrillions' slot became - in 1999 - the biggest progressive jackpot slot anywhere in the US.
More recently, Bally indulged in a little consolidation by acquiring SHFL Entertainment (formerly games developer, Shufflemaster) in a deal worth $1.3 billion. While Bally had added a proven maker of gaming tables and electronic terminals to its portfolio, more drama would follow just a year later in 2014 when Bally themselves were bought out by Scientific Games.
The US lottery and sportsbetting giant paid a reported $3.3 billion for Bally (plus just over half again in debts) and followed the company's similarly audacious buyout of WMS (Williams Interactive) a year earlier. Interestingly, some 10 years before the deal, WMS had themselves nearly bought out Bally before the Alliance deal was accepted.
Anyone who's hit their local casino will recognise some of the developer's most popular slots.
Some of Bally's best games have made the transition to the online realm, so let's start there.
Hot Shot Progressive features five individual progressive jackpots, ranging from the low (Blazing 7s) to the very good indeed (Blazing 7s 7x).
Cash Wizard, meanwhile, also features potential progressive jackpots accessible via a Mystery Bonus Wheel. There's also a top jackpot in the base game worth 100,000 coins.
Quick Hit and Quick Hit Black Gold take Bally's tried-and-trusted reliance on 'classic' slots to another level, with 30 paylines, lots of sticky Wilds and multipliers, and a 'Quick Hit Fever' bonus where free spins can be won. You've probably seen or played Quick Hit Platinum or Quick Hit Las Vegas in your local casino. Those games are cut from the same cloth and are still popular with slots players now.
Bally is primarily known for its casino slots, but they are also a dab hand at gaming terminals too.
Bally has designed several innovative gaming cabinets to incorporate their own games - such as the ALPHA 2 Pro Curver, which integrates a video slot machine with a physical 'wheel of fortune' sat at the top of the machines.
With Scientific Games now on-board, the firm is one of the most diverse suppliers of gaming and lottery around the world.
The firm supplies chip products for roulette tables, interactive i-Table Roulette - which lets players place bets on a real roulette wheel via a touch-screen layout in the casino - and various variants of Blackjack games.
More recently, Bally/Scientific Games released the Dualos Cabinet - the first release since SG bought out the company. The slot machine cabinet has a double 23" HD screen for slots fans to salivate over.
In the online world, Bally's iGaming Platform provides tech support, security protocols, and remote gaming servers among its solutions for casino providers.