WMS Slot Machines
WMS Slots is a Chicago-based US firm which sells slot machines, video lottery terminals, and online casino software. WMS Slots is a subsidiary of WMS Industries. WMS Industries can trace its roots back to 1943 to an Illinois company named Williams Manufacturing Company, which was founded by a man named Harry Williams.
In 1974, the company which became WMS Industries was founded in Chicago under the name Williams Electronics. In 2013, WMS Industries was purchased by Scientific Games, a leading producer of lottery software. Along the way, it owned Bally Gaming (1988-1998), though this unit was spun off into its own company in 1998.
The gaming machine division of the company named, WMS Gaming, began manufacturing slots in the mid-1990s. It developed slot machines like Reel 'Em In, Jackpot Party, Boom and Filthy Rich in its early days of operations. WMS Gaming's first major success was the licensed Monopoly Slots game. Since then, it has signed licenses with a number of pop culture icons to develop gaming machines for their trademarks.
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Scientific Games Corporation
Those who wonder what the acquisition by Scientific Games means for WMS Gaming should not be concerned. Scientific Games is one of the leading innovators of gambling technology in the world today. The company's contribution to gaming is pervasive; it's just few people notice their presence.
Scientific Games is the company which prints off lottery tickets for the Powerball and Mega Millions multi-state lotteries in the United States. At last count, 43 of the 50 US states have signed up for the multi-state lotteries, creating the largest lotto drawings in the world. Every step of the way, in 43 of the 50 United States, Scientific Games is printing out the all-important lottery information.
SG's Other Subsidiaries
After purchasing WMS Industries for $1.5 billion in November 2013, SG purchased Bally Technologies for a total of $5.1 billion--$3.3 billion in cash and $1.8 billion in assumed debt--in August 2014. That is a huge outlay of money, representing the 2nd and 3rd-biggest manufacturers of slot machines in the United States (behind IGT). Other companies owned by Scientific Games includes MDI Entertainment, Sciplay, The Global Draw, and Barcrest. SG once owned Games Media, but sold that company to the Novomatic Group.
Besides those subsidiaries, Scientific Games owns stakes in lottery companies around the globe. These include Guard Libang of China (50%), CSG Lottery of China (49%), Northstar Lottery Group in Illinois (20%), and Lotterie Nazionali in Italy (20%). The company also owns 20% of Sportech, a UK-based sports betting site, and 29.4% of the Robert Communications Network, which provides communications. Besides offering services for the pari-mutuel wagering industry (horse racing simulcasts), the Las Vegas-based communications firm provides support for the "sports, entertainment, educational, and ethnic programming industries with satellite and terrestrial communications services" (according to Bloomberg).
WMS Slots appears to be in good hands. In fact, being owned by a lottery games firm with such a huge revenue engine should allow WMS Industries to be on the cutting edge of technology development and perhaps buy even more slot machine licenses than before. Speaking of licensed slots, let's discuss this huge part of the WMS line.
In time, the company developed slot machines for popular movies and TV shows like The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek, Hollywood Squares, Men in Black, Clue, and The Lord of the Rings. The full list of licensed slots by WMS Gaming is so big, it's easy to overlook some of them.
The WMS Slots Facebook page is a good place to read about many of the titles. A quick perusal of the page shows references to American classic pop culture, like Elvis Slots and the Godfather Slots. Visitors will find games based on the board game Battleship, the TV show Cheers, the classic cartoon The Flintstones, and the current HBO hit Madmen. You'll find licensed slot machines for 1970s children film Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and the 1980s horror-comedy film Gremlins ("No matter how much he begs, never feed him after midnight").
Some licensed games were popular enough that WSM Gaming produced a second title in the series, such as Lord of the Rings: Reels of Rivendell. The most famous example of that is the Monopoly Slots series, which started it all for WMS Gaming.
Players who don't like to sift through a bunch of Facebook posts might find a pithier source of information on the WMS Slots Twitter. This social media outlet page provides updates on the latest game releases and company news.
An even better resource for those wanting to see the latest title releases from the company is their YouTube feed. Follow the link to YouTube and you'll see video previews of the many games offered by the company. The latest uploads include Elvis: Shake Rattling Reels, the Game Chest Blue Multi-Game, and Reel 'EM In Greatest Catch. Players who want to see how Monopoly Legends differs from previous Monopoly Slots games, you can check out the graphics and sounds as the game plays. The Spider-Man Slot Machine is being touted on the page right now, while popular games like GOLD FISH and Wizard of Oz are available for preview.
One nice thing about the YouTube WMS Slots page is the fact you can read about less prominent games. Most people can go to a slots forum and read about the most popular titles or the latest releases. Those who prefer gambling on the classic 3-reels or non-licensed video slots get a preview of each game, including features, bonuses, and game mechanics. These are broken down by categories, such as "Premium Slots Trailers", "Video Slots Trailers", and "Exclusive Slot Videos".
If at first it seems like you don't see many selections, click on the (>) button on the far right side of each row of videos. This reveals 12 featured videos, along with 30+ more on each row. In all, you can find reviews of over 100 game titles.