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Bally Gaming

Ballys Slot Machines

VIP SlotsBally Gaming is an American maker of slot machines and other gambling products. It has had several different names over the years, the latest being Bally Technologies, Incorporated. Bally has been involved in many different business ventures over the years, including the purchase of theme parks like Six Flags and casinos like the MGM Grand, as well as the marketing of health and fitness equipment.

A Short History of Bally Gaming

Bally was founded in 1932 by a man named Ray Maloney. Maloney founded the company as a division of Lion Manufacturing. It was called the Bally Manufacturing Company at the time, and focused its business model on producing pinball machines. This was the golden age of pinball machines, when the games were starting to fill up stores across the nation.

Bally took its name from their earliest best selling product, the Ballyhoo pinball machine. Within a few shorts years, Bally Manufacturing was selling its products throughout the Midwest. They eventually sold pinball machines to a nationwide market.

Bally Gaming Slot MachinesAlong with their pinball marketing, the company began producing mechanical slot machines in the late 1930s. Bally was an early innovator in the slot machine industry. The middle of the century is when slots began to dominate casino floors, making more money for casino operators than any other game.

Hardships of the Fifties

One would think that the value of Bally would have skyrocketed in the fifties. Two parallel events took the company in the opposite direction. The mother company, Lion Manufacturing, began to have its own financial difficulties in the latter stages of the decade, as well as the early sixties. These concerns certainly affected Bally's business.

Perhaps more devastating was the 1958 death of Ray Maloney. Without its founder, Bally began to lose market shares.


By 1963, Lion Manufacturing was on its last legs. Bally was sold to outside investors, who rejuvenated the company. By the end of the 1960s, Bally was selling 90% of the slot machines in America. It became a publicly traded company later in the decade. This revenue stream gave Bally the means to delve into other industries.

Video Games

Bally got into the booming video game industry in the 1970s. It bought the licensing rights to Space Invaders, one of the first truly popular video games. This was followed by the purchase of Pac-Man, a video game phenomenon which dwarfed the success of Space Invaders.

The company also produced a video game console, The Bally Astrocade. Despite being more advanced than its main competitor of the time, The Atari 2600, the console was priced too high for the domestic market and never caught on with the buying public. Bally's forays into other fields met with difficulties, also.

Casino Games

Around the same time, Bally tried to purchase a casino license in Atlantic City. This foundered upon the high stakes political wrangling for which Atlantic City is famous. This culminated when Bally's then-president, William O'Donnell, resigned due to concerns he was involved with organized crime.

Keep Trying

Bally did not give up when it had failed. In the mid 1980s, the company made purchases in two disparate industries: theme parks and workout equipment. Each of these would be a rousing success.

Bally purchased the Six Flags theme park chain, which coincided with a new wave of rides that hit theme parks at the time. Bally eventually would sell these parks to the Time Warner Company.

The eighties saw Bally purchase the Health and Tennis Corporation of America. This business sold fitness and sports equipment. It would go on to become a subsidiary of Bally Technology Inc., the famous Bally Total Fitness.

The Best of Bally Slot Machines

Of course, the subject of this article is Bally slots. They have some famous games, some of which are classic slots concepts and others referencing American pop culture.

Saturday Night Live Slots

The most successful of this latter group are the Saturday Night Live slots. Famous skits from SNL get their own machines. The Blues Brothers, The Church Lady, The Coneheads and Waynes World each have their own slots.

As you play these games, clips from the show run above you. Since it's the official stuff, players are entertained either winning or losing.

Playboy Slots

Yes, Hugh Hefner signed a licensing deal with Bally Games. You can play slots while looking at pictures of Playboy playmates. Some gamblers would say this is the closest thing to heaven on Earth.

There are a couple of these games on the market. One is the original Playboy game, while another one features the most popular playmates. Unfortunately, Bally keeps these machines PG-rated, so don't get your hopes up too much.

Pamela Anderson Slots

Along the same lines, you can also play a slot machine licensed by former Playboy playmate and Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson.

The Lone Ranger Frenzy

Though it may seem to be in strange company with Hugh Hefner and Pamela Anderson, Bally Games also markets a Lone Ranger slot machine. For all those baby boomers who grew up watching the masked man, you can now play slots accompanied by visuals and soundbites from one of the great western acts of yesteryear.

Other Slots Games by Bally

Of course, Bally was huge before it started the franchise slots. Games like Blazing 7's and Diamond Line 777's were what put Bally slots on the map.

Other fan favorites include Cairo Dreams, Treasure Chests and Thrillions.

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