Williams Gaming Slot Machines
WMS is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. Like Bally Technologies, Inc., WMS Gaming got its start in the pinball machine business. WMS came almost two generations later, in 1974. Its career is one of unbridled success in the three-plus decades since.
You might know WMS better as Williams Gaming, which is its official name. WMS is the NYSE designation for the company. Of course, companies don't just end up on the stock exchange overnight, so we are getting ahead of ourselves by several decades.
The path from pinball machine to slot machine was not direct. Only a few years after its formation, Williams Gaming decided to dip its foot into the video game pool. It was the seventies and people were beginning to see the potential of home gaming.
WMS started selling games to regional arcades. Later, it started selling home versions of arcade games, as well as the handheld games that were so popular in the late seventies and early eighties. Though WMS was a relatively obscure provider, the company was successful commercially. The eighties continued along this tack for the company.
Williams began selling lottery machines in 1991. With the development of state lottos in many states across the nation, WMS got into the industry at just the right time. From here, it was only a short step into the casino industry.
The Gambling Industry
Not long after, Williams Gaming produced Reel 'Em In, their first slot machine. Reel 'Em In embodied several of the cutting edge pay schemes of the early nineties, including multiplier features and several bonus games. This game became the prototype for later WMS games and the blueprint for its success. It would not be long before Williams evolved into a casino-only gaming company.
Filthy Rich is another popular WMS slot machine. It offers a classic look with modern gaming features and is available for land-based gaming and online casinos.
By 1998, Williams was being publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. By this time, it was selling casino machinery, and had long ago got out of the pinball and even lottery industries. It has been prodigious in its output of new slot machine games.
The second best seller in their gaming arsenal is Monopoly. Like its major competitor, International Game Technology, WMS decided to buy franchises. In this case, Williams Gaming avoided the television themes which are a staple of IGT machines, instead choosing an American board game favorite for the past seven decades.
Clint Eastwood Slots
Another popular franchise is the Eastwood machine. This offers scenes and imagery from Clint Eastwood's most popular films. "Dirty Harry" and "The Man With No Name" are just two of the Eastwood characters featured on this game. It comes with bonus games and other WMS standards.
Men In Black
Williams offers a slot machine version of the Men In Black movie and comic book franchise. If you like aliens fighting comical yet sinister seeming Federal agents, this is the game for you. Of course, the games which put WMS on the map are their more traditional options.
This machine plays off the old game show from the 1970s and 1980s hosted by Gene Rayburn, Match Game. The bonus games are based on the "match game" gimmick.
Williams' Big List of Slots
Leprechaun's Gold and King Midas are two old favorites of mine. Galactic Payback offers a slots game set in a space opera setting.
The aforementioned Reel 'Em In is their most popular game, though Kaboom, Road to Riches and Cool Cat Cash are also commercial successes. Slotsky is a game with a certain following.
The Future of Williams Gaming
The slot machine industry has been consolidating in the last ten years. There is big money to be had, so a lot of different competitors have gotten into the game. But most of these companies don't have the financial wherewithal and business plan to survive. A number of these have been bought by IGT and Bally Gaming.
Williams Gaming is a survivor. It is publicly traded, giving it financial backing most of the less known companies do not have. WMS has a solid foundation, one forged over thirty years in several different gaming fields.
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