Presenting... the Dream Makers
Row upon row of gambling machines await casino visitors around the world. Casino 'slots' encompass games of keno, video poker, multi-games and of course, slot machines.
However, how many of us observe the machine in front of us much beyond the denomination, version and pay schedule? One additional piece of information found on all slots is the manufacturer's name. Slot Manufacturers provide the creativity, entertainment, inside mechanics and just plain fun for us and I think they should be recognized as what I call the Dream Makers.
Although there is a large variety of slot versions out there; in fact, there are very few slot manufacturers who provide for players worldwide. I list them below with a web-site link for more information and oh boy, is there a load of facts at these sites! You can locate company information, which slot versions they manufacturer, what's new (the best part for me) and often you can turn on the sound and watch the slots in action. You will be surprised and gain some 'slots savvy' when viewing this information. Also, you can provide some slots trivia to impress your casino gambling buddies.
1) http://www.igtonline.com -- We begin with the giant of them all IGT - International Gaming Technology. No other slot manufacturer can touch this super-huge manufacturer and their slots are placed around the world. Their product lines include S-Plus spinning reel slot, Vision Series slots, PlayersEdge-Plus video poker and the Game King multi-game video line. Mega-Jackpot progressives run with IGT's proprietary software. Casino player tracking (IGS) software assists the casinos to establish your playing trends.
The company started the 1970's video poker machine revolution and never looked back. The move forward produced Wheel of Fortune, Spin Poker, Chicken Game and recently, Chainsaws & Toasters -- there's one I've got to investigate. Head over to the new games page where you can experience some of these games with video and sound chips online. Double Diamond, (originally designed with women in mind -- of course, we expect nothing less) and Five Times Pay are the most popular and familiar slots in their product line. I plan to return again, just to see what these successful minds are up to next.
2) http://ballygaming.com. Ballys -- probably the oldest manufacturer -- nearly 70 years. Remember the days of PacMan and pinball machines? Bally was there. Since then, their Game-Makers multi-game machines and Betty Boop have arrived. Currently, the company is, or has advanced, to 3-D animation video bonus features, multi-denominational progressives and casino management software. Take a look at the familiar slots and video poker names at their 'hottest games' page. There is a 'Product of the Quarter' that details 99 Bottles of Beer -- a new 9 reel-4 line game. Cheers!
3) http://wmsgaming.com -- This was my favorite site graphically. Can't get enough of those cute critters. Williams is the new kid on the slot scene, however, they have produced some of the most recognizable, innovative slots. Reel 'Em In, Filthy Rich, Boom, Jackpot Party and Monopoly -- all favorites of this bonus video slot player. Casino locations for these slots are also listed. Video lottery terminals and contract manufacturing also offered. Don't you just want to pinch the cheeks of that piggy -- what a cutie.
4) http://www.sigmagame.com -- Sigma's premiere line is the Select Series of Treasure Tunnels and Treasure Wheel games. They designed the slant-top reel slot machine in 1990 and my neck and back are forever grateful. You can also thank Sigma for the embedded bill validator to accept currency because waiting for a change person is a thing of the past. Sneak Peek Poker is their highly rated new VP game. Their T.E.S.T. - True Evaluation Slot Trial program ensures that new game models are proven and tested in Las Vegas for customer appeal before they are released for sale. Where do I sign up for this job?
5) http://www.silicongaming.com -- I certainly remember when these multi-game slots first appeared on the casino floor. The unusual higher platform design peaked the curiosity of all slots players. No problem locating these versions amongst the rows of machines--usually at the end of the aisle because of their shape. Choose Eureka, Banana-Rama and Vacation USA.
Their blackjack video -- Top Hat 21 and Krazy Keno are other offerings. Hot Reels, one of their newest games, which allows the player to hold any or all reels and re-spin for another chance to win sounds too cool. Three reels are also available along with three VP versions -- Phantom Belle was a favorite of mine. You have to be amused by a pair of gloved hands dealing the cards and tapping impatiently when you did not make a quick decision. Well, excuuuuuse me!
6) http://www.csds.com -- Casino Data Systems proudly presents American Pride, 5 payline and bonus screen 'flag star field' with 50 states represented. A possible bonus award lies under each state. Bring on the apple pie and Uncle Sam. Their other slots that are high on my list of favorites: Egyptian Gold, Bombshell and Bingo. CDS also provides casino management info systems, progressive meters and customized slot glass, which may be of little interest to slot players. But...they manufacture Cool Millions progressive machines that pay the first million coins for the jackpot -- did I get your attention now?
7) http://www.aristocrat.com.au -- All slots players owe our Aussie friends at Aristocrat much gratitude for they are the pioneers of bonus video slots with multi-paylines. Wild West 5-reel slot developed in 1979 and hailed as the most important development over the past 20 years -- very impressive. Currently, the second largest gaming machine supplier, they own over 700 patents, trademarks and designs. Aristocrat's special features include roaming wilds, free spin-bonus play, repeat wins and hold and spin. Original games of Top Gear, Trick or Treat, Fortune Hunter and Caribbean Gold have expanded to newer games: Penguin Pays and Tropical Delight. Twenty payline games are their latest innovation with Jumpin' Joey released to casinos in the Mid-West. I tip my hat and say G'day mates to this company.
8) http://www.mikohm.com -- Yahtzee was born here. Mikohm has developed some interesting table game-slot versions: Caribbean Stud Poker, Progressive Blackjack, Wild Aruba Stud and Monopoly Poker. Their wide range of products and services include player tracking, chip tracking, game tracking and CasinoLink to support slot machine networking. My only complaint at this site is the long download time -- waiting to see what's new had me tapping my fingers in anticipation. They should know that you should not keep browsing gamblers waiting -- right?
All slot manufacturers maintain testing facilities for their games. Their slots are tested many times for durability and workability. I would think so, especially for those players who will insist on pounding the glass (made bulletproof, I assume) of any machine that does not react in the way they expect. Lastly, remember the manufacturers are not to blame for a slot's losing streak as they program the payout %'s based on casino management's demand and gaming control regulations.
Another tip for gaming investors who like to play in front of the machines and stand behind the company name; there are some buy opportunities at these sites. I like to play both sides of the casino game. I'm on my way to Vegas for a family reunion and my Mother's 80th birthday. She is also known as 'slot-chasing mama' -- part of the family heritage. This special occasion will produce a trip report when we meet again.
Until then......look out Vegas town!