Bally Games Review
When it comes to gaming machines, Bally is a name that can claim to have one of the longest histories in the business. Staring out in 1932 in Chicago, Bally began its illustrious journey in gaming with a pinball machine, called (rather smartly) the Ballyhoo.
Pinball machines became the engine room of Bally’s business in those early days – Bally is even name-checked in The Who’s famous song Pinball Wizard so synonymous was the brand with those games – but in 1936 the company also released its first slot.
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The Bally Baby was a very simple machine compared to today’s online slots, but it set things in motion for Bally to become one of the biggest manufactures of physical slot machines in the last century. Want to guess how many slots in Las Vegas were Bally’s in 1968? A staggering 94%!
After a curious diversification in the 70s and 80s into other leisure industries such as theme parks and gyms, Bally refocused on its casino machines in the early 90s. This would undoubtedly prove to be a shrewd move as the era of online casino gaming was just around the corner, and with it a whole new virtual world to enjoy Bally’s wares.
Bally built a group of tech companies into its existing business and then was acquired itself by Alliance Gaming in 2006 to become Bally Technologies. With an existing stock of games already proven popular in land-based casinos, Bally was able to quickly port those titles to the online market and capitalise on its brand recognition amongst slot players to great effect.
Interestingly Bally’s slightly conservative approach to its online slot games – closely sticking to the themes, presentation and features that had been hits in land-based games – may have seen it get overshadowed somewhat by more innovative developers such as NetEnt and Blueprint in recent years.
Hopefully it will respond to this competitive challenge with flair, and now under the wing of Scientific Gaming, following a friendly takeover in 2014, we look forward to seeing Bally bounce back with its future releases.
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