In the world of slots, a few names rise above all others. One of the most notable is Bally, known for being a leader in producing video slots, as well as arcade games and pinball machines during their partnership with the now-defunct Midway.
The era of Space Invaders and pinball wizards may be over, but Bally Technologies is still going strong when it comes to producing innovative and profitable slot machines. This article looks at some of the most popular video slots made by the company, as well as providing a brief history of Bally and a list of some of their biggest casino winners.
You can also play free slot games from Bally here. We provide you with the free versions of many of their games so that you can test them out to make sure you really like the software and the gameplay before spending your own money to play them.
History of Bally Technologies
Bally appeared on the scene in 1932, when Raymond Moloney founded the company to make pinball machines as a subsidiary of Lion Manufacturing. A mechanical whiz, he was able to expand the business over the next few decades by becoming involved with slot machines, aircraft parts, and even the music industry.
The company faltered following the passing of Moloney in 1958, and it was purchased by investors in 1963. Bally then grew to become the primary manufacturer of slot machines on the planet, at one point holding a commanding 90% share of the market.
Bally entered the casino business in the latter half of the 1970s, and the Park Place was opened on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in 1979. Thanks to their acquisition of Midway Manufacturing in the late 1960s, they also became a key player in the growing video game market (producing Pac-Man and Space Invaders).
The 1980s saw a period of expansion, with Bally buying fitness clubs, casinos, and the Six Flags amusement park chain. This came back to haunt them, however, as too many expenditures forced Bally-Midway and Six Flags to be sold.
Bally Gaming was acquired by Alliance Gaming Corporation after a hostile takeover attempt in 1995. The company pioneered the concept of the wide-area progressive slot in 1999, releasing licensed games such as Popeye and Blondie.
The decision was then made to focus on gaming technology, and a number of longtime business interests were sold off. This streamlining had a positive effect, allowing Bally to make record gains and Alliance Gaming to move onto the New York Stock Exchange. In order to present a unified identity, Alliance rebranded itself as Bally Technologies in 2006.
2014 was a landmark year for the company, as several of their slots were honored with awards for innovation and overall quality. In August, Bally Technologies entered into an agreement to be purchased by Scientific Games, a longtime maker of sports betting and lottery equipment. The transaction was made for $3.3 billion, as well as an additional $1.8 billion in assumed debt.
Bally was not the first acquisition made by Scientific Games; the company has WMS Industries, which once owned Bally/Midway, as well as Sciplay, MDI Entertainment, Barcrest, and The Global Draw. Scientific Games also owns stakes in a number of lotteries, including those in China, Italy, and the state of Illinois.
The current board of directors for Scientific Games (as well as Bally) includes the following:Ronald O. Perelman
Chairman of the Board since 2013. Has also served as chairman for Revlon, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., and M&F Worldwide Corporation.Richard Haddrill
Served as Bally's CEO from 2004 to 2012. Also served on Bally's board of directors from 2003 until the SG acquisition, as well as being Chairman of the Board from 2012 to 2014.David L. Kennedy
A UCLA graduate and certified public accountant, Kennedy has worked with MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, Revlon, and Coca-Cola.Gavin Isaacs
A gaming industry executive with over a decade of experience, Mr. Isaacs has worked with Bally Technologies and Aristocrat Leisure Limited. Also part of the board of directors for the American Gaming Association.Peter A. Cohen
Chairman of the Board and CEO of Shearson Lehman Brothers from 1983 to 1990. Director of L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., as well as a founding partner of Ramius LLC.Gerald J. Ford
Has over three decades of experience in public and private mergers. Served as CEO and Chairman of the Board for Golden State Bancorp from 1998 until 2002. Recently served as the director of Triad Financial SM LLC.Paul M. Meister
CEO and co-founder of Liberty Lane Partners, LLC, as well as the Chairman and CEO of inVentive Health Incorporated. Has served on the board since 2012.Michael J. Regan
During 40 years of service with KPMG LLP, Regan served as the lead audit partner for numerous companies on the Fortune 500 list. Also affiliated with Citadel Broadcasting Corporation and Allied Security Holdings LLC.Barry F. Schwartz
Affiliated with Scientific Games since 2003, Mr. Schwartz is also the director of Revlon Consumer Products Corporation and Harland Clarke Holdings Corporation.Frances F. Townsend
From 2004 until 2008, she served Homeland Security and Counterterrorism as an assistant under President George W. Bush. She also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice for 13 years in various positions, as well as serving as the Assistant Commandant for Intelligence in the U.S. Coast Guard.Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald
Teacher, judge, lawyer, and the only female to serve as the president of The Hague since its creation in 1994.
Notable Slot Machines from Bally Technologies
Bally has released hundreds of slot machines over the decades, and each year sees additional titles become available to the general public. If you've never tried one of their products before, the following list details some of their more popular slots games.Gears of Gold
Part of the Cash Connection series, this 5-reel slot features a steampunk theme, mystery stacked reels, directional wilds, a wheel bonus, and free games bonus. There are a total of 40 paylines, and the wide-area progressive pays a minimum of $400,000. Free games also come with a multiplier, allowing players to increase their winnings up to a factor of five.Sumo Kitty
The title character is both a cat and sumo wrestler, so you know you're going to be in for a unique experience. The five-reel game offers hundreds of ways to win, and possible denominations range from a penny to $500 (with a 2500-credit maximum). The top payout is 5000x the amount of the initial wager, and this is bolstered by scatter symbols, free games, and the always-innovative Hot Zone feature.Ultimate Tower of Power
Part of the Digital Tower series, this slot features a wide-area progressive jackpot that starts at $250,000. The object of the game is to scale the tower one level at a time, and both players and onlookers should be captivated by the dazzling sounds and special effects. There are five reels and 30 paylines, and the top wager of 150 credits is affordable when you consider that it's a penny slot.The Blob
Based on the sci-fi classic starring a young Steve McQueen, this five-level progressive slot is sure to entertain those who remember the days of drive-in movies. Free game features include "The Growing Blob" and "The Blob Devoured," and any free games earned by the player can be retriggered repeatedly. Watch for falling meteors to get a possible jackpot, including the massive Box Office jackpot that can rise to over $1 million.Wonder Woman Gold
Based on the classic 1970's TV show starring Lynda Carter, this 5-reel slot includes three progressive levels (mega, major, mini), extra wilds, expanding wilds, mystery super stacks, and up to 25 free games. Fans of the show should adore the video clips and theme music, and progressives are available regardless of the size of the wager.ZZ Top: Live from Texas
Combining rock and blues since 1969--and sporting some awesome facial hair in the process--the trio known as ZZ Top has become one of America's best-loved bands. This slot features video footage of five of their biggest hits, including "Legs," "Sharp Dressed Man," "Gimme All Your Lovin," "La Grange," and "Cheap Sunglasses." Each wager has a chance at the three-level progressive jackpot, and mystery bonuses and spinning wheels offer additional ways to win.Playboy: Hot Zone
While the famous Playboy empire has struggled since the creation of the Internet, their brand still retains worldwide recognition. This five-reel, 40-payline slot offers all the style and luxury you'd expect from the Playboy name, but without all the fake breasts and blatant nudity. Available denominations range from a penny to $100, and there are multiple bonus features to shoot for.Pawn Stars
Based on the popular reality show, this game debuted in 2013. The object of the game is to visit a pawn broker and walk away with a massive payout, and it features five reels, 25 paylines, and a maximum wager of 250 credits. Players can participate for as little as a penny, and they're able to choose from Pawn Stars celebrities such as Chumlee or Rick. Four bonus rounds are offered, including one where you get to haggle about the price of items in order to get the best deal.NASCAR
This slot debuted in 2013, and it allows players to choose one of the following drivers as their character: Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, and Jimmie Johnson. A 32-inch touchscreen displays all the action, and the roar of the engines emanates from the player's seat. A wide-area progressive, the game features bonus rounds such as Burnout, U Race, and Pit Stop.Grease: Pink Ladies and T-Birds
Based on the popular movie starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, this progressive slot lets players begin by choosing their gang. The females are known as the Pink Ladies and include characters such as Sandy and Rizzo, while the male T-Birds include Danny and Kenickie. Three or more scatter symbols trigger free wins, and this phase includes an expanding wild to increase the player's cash reward.David Copperfield
This slot features the world-famous magician and draws directly from his long-running act at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Two screens allow for virtual reels and continual footage, and don't be surprised when Copperfield appears and turns symbols into extra wilds. The five-reel slot has 30 paylines, and all symbols support the magical motif. The famous "Death Saw" trick also figures prominently into the game, adding a unique twist to the common wheel spin bonus.Star Signs
If you're into astrology and the signs of the zodiac, you should get a kick out of this penny slot. There are five reels and a massive 50 paylines, and getting five wilds in a row delivers the top payout of 300x your bet. Not available as a progressive, the game makes up for this fact by featuring numerous payouts and the ability to choose your astrological sign at the beginning of the game.Skee Ball
Drawing inspiration from the game that's been amusing arcade patrons for years, Skee Ball includes 40 paylines and allows participants to wager anywhere from a single penny to $100 per spin. The coolest element of the game is when players actually get to participate in a game of virtual skee ball by moving their fingers across the touchscreen. In 2011, this product was given a major industry award for being one of the most innovative releases of the year.
Big Winners on Bally Slots
Bally has been in the slot machine business for decades, and during this time they've produced a tremendous number of winners. Whether you're curious about the payouts available from Bally or the land-based casinos most likely to produce a major jackpot, the following list should prove helpful. As you'll notice, a lot of big winners prefer to remain anonymous.
- On 6/14/2014, Anonymous won $669,065.65 at Gila River Casino in Arizona
- On 4/2/2014, Anonymous won $1,362,953.33 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa, Oklahoma
- On 3/26/2014, Anonymous won $1,258,301.94 at Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Atmore, Alabama
- On 2/23/2014, Anonymous won $2,807,702.88 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida
- On 9/17/2013, Kathryn Stokes won $1,862,447.25 at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ontario
- On 5/15/2013, Anonymous won $825,254.00 at Seminole Coconut Creek in Coconut Creek, Florida
- On 4/28/2013, Anonymous won $1,851,795.75 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut
- On 3/27/2013, Anonymous won $1,445,319.14 at Paris Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada
- On 11/30/2012, Tami DeMarr won $1,572,006.18 at Lac Courte Oreilles Casino in Hayward, Wisconsin
- On 7/5/2012, Mickie Schiel won $734,266.00 at Santa Claran Hotel Casino in Espanola, New Mexico
- On 9/15/2010, Kimberly Tillinghast won $325,228.95 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut
- On 6/8/2014, Jerry Dennis won $1,238,018.88 at Wind Creek Wetumpka in Wetumpka, Alabama
- On 1/11/2014, Anonymous won $1,723,073.78 at Creek Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama
- On 5/12/2013, Anonymous won $1,315,887.18 at Creek Casino Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama
- On 1/20/2013, Anonymous won $1,220,501.74 at Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino in Eagle Pass, Texas
- On 10/4/2012, Anonymous won $2,374,781.54 at Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Atmore, Alabama
- On 6/18/2010, Anonymous won $1,008,328.52 at Dejope Gaming in Madison, Wisconsin
- On 6/9/2010, Anonymous won $1,087,055.97 at Dejope Gaming in Madison, Wisconsin
- On 2/18/2010, Anonymous won $1,301,231.82 at Quinault Beach Resort & Casino in Ocean Shores, Washington
- On 5/20/2014, Anonymous won $1,070,209.74 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida
- On 4/27/2014, Anonymous won $1,906,424.92 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
- On 4/20/2014, Kerry Gillis won $1,180,484.42 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut
- On 2/19/2014, Anonymous won $1,645,348.60 at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California
- On 7/31/2013, Leander Burgess won $1,005,554.87 at the River Rock Casino in Geyserville, California
- On 7/28/2013, Anonymous won $1,395,915.43 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa in Tampa, Florida
- On 4/16/2013, Anonymous won $2,330,336.63 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut
- On 3/8/2013, Anonymous won $1,161,223.60 at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
- On 12/28/2012, Anonymous won $1,352,715.27 at the Four Queens Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
- On 8/3/2012, Anonymous won $1,607,432.52 at the Four Queens Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
- On 4/11/2014, Patrick Calma won $298,624.65 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut
- On 10/30/2013, Anonymous won $263,500.07 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut
- On 9/24/2013, Rhonda Frieson won $283,176.28 at Golden Eagle Casino in Horton, Kansas
- On 7/14/2013, Anna Joels won $410,299.98 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, Florida
- On 10/21/2012, Anonymous won $409,722.64 at Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Michigan
- 4/15/2012, Anonymous won $302,782.93 at Fort Sill Apache Casino in Lawton, Oklahoma
- On 10/10/2011, Richard Mendoza won $288,960.64 at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- On 9/17/2011, Anonymous won $304,706.45 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut
- On 8/19/2011, Anonymous won $256,907.33 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida
- On 8/15/2011, Anonymous won $468,749.28 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, Florida