Slot providers and manufacturers are the innovators that provide the world’s favorite way to wager. Without the companies profiled here, we’d still be in the slots dark ages, spinning mechanical reels in hopes of winning a free cigar.
The ten slot providers and manufacturers listed on this page are the biggest names in the global slot machine design industry. Some of these companies produce land-based slots, others focus on the online market, and many of them produce titles for both markets.
Ainsworth, also known as Ainsworth Game Technology or simply AGT, is a leading provider of slot machines for both the land-based and virtual markets. Created in 1995 and based in the Australian state of New South Wales, AGT has developed a reputation for consistency and dependability. Much of their success can also be attributed to experience, as the founder of the company, Len Ainsworth, started fellow gaming manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure in 1953.
Ainsworth focuses all their efforts on slot machines, and they’ve released dozens of titles over the years in the following categories: stand-alone progressives, mystery jackpots, multi-games, interactive mobile games, and linked slots. Some of their more popular titles include Eagle Bucks, Grand Dragon, and Money Heat. While none of their games are likely to revolutionize the industry, customers can depend on a fair and quality experience with each spin of the reels.
Founded in 1993, Amatic Industries is a family-owned small business specializing in the design of land-based and online slot games. The company is headquartered in Austria, and that’s where their first games appeared. For nearly two decades, Amatic services the Austrian gaming market, with no expansion beyond Austria’s borders. In 2011, the company made two huge moves. First, they released a small library of online slots for the first time. Second, they expanded into two new markets — Poland and the UK. Their trademark semi-circle shaped cabinets are available all over Europe, though their games are just now appearing online.
Amatic is a European leader in slot game design, even if the company isn’t yet a household name. It’s clear that their main focus is still producing games for the land-based marketplace, though their library of some 200 online games is impressive for a company that just got its start. As is often the case with a new slot game designer, they’re not exactly at the top of their game, producing a long list of nearly-identical five reel games without many special features or involved plots. Still, with their expansion into the UK and the global slot gambling market, we’re sure to see more Amatic games in the next couple of years.
Amaya Gaming, sometimes called The Amaya Gaming Group, is a Montreal-based gambling provider that participates in both the online and land-based gaming markets. Amaya is the world’s largest publicly-traded company in the gambling industry, appearing on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Amaya made a name for themselves in the gambling business by purchasing PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in 2014 for just under $5 billion. Amaya is a massive conglomerate with offices all over the world, from America and Canada to South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Amaya Gaming is not a major producer of slots, though their casino solutions and other gaming products are so ubiquitous that we felt they needed a spot here on this list. They have a small number of casino games available, alongside products for the poker, sports gambling, and lottery software niches. Amaya provides games to some of the world’s best-known gaming names, like Cryptologic and Aristocrat. They appear to be ready to release a huge number of licensed games, after forming licensing deals with companies like Capcom, DC Comics, and several movie production houses.
Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure Limited is the second-largest producer of casino games in the world, behind only IGT in America. Aristocrat is a rarity for this list — a company with roots going back nearly seventy years. Aristocrat’s first slot machine appeared in 1953 — this was also one of the first slots ever designed and manufactured outside of the United States. As the oldest manufacturer of slot machine games still producing for the industry in a big way, Aristocrat holds an important place on this list of game designers and producers. Aristocrat is a billion-dollar company with very little competition in their native Australia.
The fact that their games are available in land-based and online casinos all over North America, Europe, and Asia is a testament to their quality. While Aristocrat isn’t producing flashy cinematic titles like Betsoft and NetEnt, they’re not producing boring repetitive titles with nearly-identical gameplay, which is more than we can say for a few other names on this list. Aristocrat’s slots typically have five reels, but their variety of Ways to Win arrangements, licensed deals, and special gamble features (along with other innovations) means Aristocrat slots tend to have high replay value, in spite of their average graphics and effects.
Based in the United Kingdom and in operation since 2000, Ash Gaming is a respected name when it comes to the development of online and mobile titles. Created by Chris Ash and initially known as Ash Leucker, the company would adopt their current moniker in 2002. While far from a household name, they made industry headlines in 2011 after being purchased by Playtech for an estimated 23 million pounds.
With headquarters in London, Ash Gaming continues to design games primarily for the European market. Slot machines are their primary field of expertise, although video poker and traditional table games are also available. All titles are run with Flash, meaning the customer can play on their browser via any available computer. The main selling points of their creations are unique bonuses and sizable payouts, and some of their more popular slots include Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Bally has a long history, dating all the way back to 1932 and founder Raymond Moloney’s vision of creating a profitable pinball machine company. This dream expanded over the decades, and soon Bally was involved in everything from the music industry to slot machines. They controlled 90% of the slots market by the ’60s, and their industry dominance allowed them to become publicly traded. The 1970s saw the company get into the casino business, and they also became a leading name during the arcade boom of the ’80s. Alliance Gaming Corporation acquired Bally in 1995, and they would later be purchased by Scientific Games for $3.3 billion in 2014.
Bally Technologies focuses on slots, and their creations are available in both land-based and virtual casinos. They’ve created hundreds of titles over the decades, and their progressive jackpots have created a surprising number of millionaires. Some of their more popular creations include Millionaire Sevens, Ultimate Tower of Power, and Grease: Pink Ladies and T-Birds.
Betsoft was founded in 1999. It took the company about a decade to put together its current library of about 100 Web-based slot machine games. Around the year 2010, they began partnering with some of the biggest names in the online gambling business, and first appeared at sites aimed at the North American market. These days, a new Betsoft slot release is a major event, thanks to the company’s reputation for producing outstanding Internet slots.
Betsoft is one of two online slot machine design companies around the world earning rave reviews for their high-quality graphics and involved gameplay. Along with NetEntertainment, reviewed further down the page, Betsoft represents the cutting edge of Web-based slot machine play, incorporating features like 3D graphics and video game-like plots into their online slots. You’ll often hear the word “cinematic” thrown around during reviews of Betsoft games, and for good reason. Their games, like Sugar Pop and 2 Million BC, use animations and other effects that wouldn’t be out of place in the latest Disney or Pixar release.
Blueprint Gaming is based in Newark, England, and they focus exclusively on making slot machines for both virtual and brick-and-mortar casinos. Before being located in the UK, however, they could initially be found in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. This changed in 2008, when a controlling interest was purchased by the German-based Gauselmann Group. Four years later, they owned the entirety of Blueprint’s operations.
Since they debuted in 2001, Blueprint Gaming has been selective about the number of titles produced on a yearly basis, especially as it relates to the Internet. While more than 100,000 terminals can be found at real-life casinos throughout Europe, their online catalogue only contains around two dozen options. This indicates a preference for quality, and their releases are frequently celebrated by players for their multiple bonus rounds. Whether you’re playing at Bet365, Unibet, or William Hill, some of the more popular Blueprint Gaming titles include the following: Zuma Slots, Bejeweled Cascades, and Plants vs Zombies.
Endemol Gaming is something of an anomaly among slot machine designers. While most are formed with the sole purpose of creating and licensing games, Endemol debuted in 1994 as a media company responsible for television production. They’ve enjoyed a great amount of success in this field, creating more than 15,000 hours of original programming in genres ranging from sitcoms to reality television.
Of course, cross-promotion is an important strategy when it comes to the success of a modern television show, and in 2010 Endemol Games was launched to create slot machine adaptations for some of their most successful shows. The resulting output has reached both online and land-based casinos, as well as social media platforms and mobile applications. The London-based company primarily targets European customers, and their list of clients includes such titans as Paddy Power and William Hill. Among their more popular slots (and TV shows) are 3-2-1, Big Brother, and The Money Drop.
FremantleMedia Games first appeared in 2001, but their history stretches back to 1917 and the creation of a German movie production outfit known as Universum Film A.G. This company became part of the RTL Group in 1964, and their owner, Bertelsmann, has the distinction of being Europe’s biggest producer of media content. 2001 saw the production arm of the RTL Group rebranded as FremantleMedia, and they’ve been working on turning out slot machine adaptations of their popular shows ever since.
The slots produced by Fremantle are best known for their licensed content, although players also point to their solid graphics and above-average payouts as additional selling points. Since their programming has been honored at events ranging from the Daytime Emmys to the Kids Choice Awards, you can be certain that their content has a broad global appeal. Some of their more popular slots at land-based and online locations include Blockbusters, Trivial Pursuit, The Price is Right, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
High 5 Games, often abbreviated as H5G, was created in 1995 by Anthony Singer and Howard Marks. The New York-based game designer’s first few years were dominated by poker and video poker releases, but they enjoyed their first major slots success in 1999 with the debut of Hot Hot Hot (which included a trio of spin buttons). Now in business for more than 20 years, H5G boasts a catalogue of more than 300 games, and they’ve also become the go-to destination for anyone looking to play slots via a social media platform such as Facebook.
High 5 slots are noted for their all-around quality, from payouts and graphics to overall customer retention. This recognition comes from industry peers as well as customers, with H5G winning “North America Best New Game” in 2015 and 2016 from Electronic Gaming Review. With clients ranging from IGT to Golden Nugget Casino, High 5 Games continues to crank out such quality titles as Black Widow, Golden Goddess, and Double Da Vinci Diamonds.
IGT produces about half of the slots found in casinos all over the world. They have a massive market share, report $1-2 billion in revenue per year, appear on the NYSE, and employ tens of thousands of people in the gambling business. They’re the world’s largest manufacturer of slot machines and other games of chance and skill. It’s hard to overstate IGT’s role in the modern business of gambling.
IGT was founded in 1971, but didn’t release a hit game until a series of video poker titles in the late 70s attracted the attention of some big-money investors. When IGT went public in 1981, they did so with gusto, immediately purchasing a number of assets that would prove valuable in the future. IGT doesn’t just put up most of the slots and other games on casino floors, they also produce the player-tracking software used by both online and land-based gambling halls to pay player rewards. IGT slots have long been among the best-reviewed and most exciting titles on the Internet — they were among the first companies to offer a progressive online system, and they’ve held long-standing licenses with brands like Wheel of Fortune. Their high-quality games are highly-visible, by virtue of appearing all over the place. IGT slots often appear as part of a suite of games from a number of manufacturers, thanks to their name recognition and high quality.
Konami was founded in Osaka, Japan in 1969 by Kagemasa Kozuki. Originally created as a repair and rental company for jukeboxes, it migrated to the business of arcade games in the 1970s and began importing products to the United States by the end of the decade. Konami branched out to computer games in the 1980s, and they were listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1988. Their entry into the slot machine world came in 1999, when the company received a license to create and distribute games within the state of Nevada.
While their original emphasis was on land-based slots, Konami has made a sustained push into the virtual market in recent years. With decades of gaming experience under their belt, they’ve quickly established themselves as an industry player with titles such as Full Moon Diamond, Neo Contra: Samurai Strike, and Rock Around the Clock: Sweet Spinning Wilds. While their graphics and overall presentation are frequently highlighted in positive reviews, there’s little doubt that the lucrative progressive jackpots also have something to do with the company’s sustained success as a slot machine designer.
Since their debut in 1997, Mazooma has focused on designing quality slot machines that appeal to a broad range of players. Based in the United Kingdom, their early years saw an emphasis on real-world machines, but this changed over time with the growing popularity of the Internet. They were eventually purchased by Novomatic and tasked with the duty of helping land-based slots make a successful transition to the online and mobile markets.
The current catalogue of slots from Mazooma numbers over two dozen, and these can be found in casinos both real and virtual. Each of their titles offers a surprising number of wagering options, and this has become their most distinguishing characteristic. Some of their more popular releases include Cops ‘N Robbers: Millionaire’s Row, Frog’s Fairy Tale, and King of the Pride, and these can be found at casinos ranging from OpenBet to Ladbrokes.
Microgaming is another big name in the world gambling business. Microgaming Software Systems is headquartered on the Isle of Man. This company claims to have released the world’s first online casino, called GamingClub, in 1994. Other producers have claimed the same title, though the consensus is that Microgaming was the first in the business. Now in their third decade of providing high-quality slot games to casinos all over the world, Microgaming is a household name among gamblers.
Microgaming produces everything from slots and table games to software for live dealer suites and multi-player titles. They’re now producing games for land-based casinos as well, in a reversal of the traditional move from land-based casinos to the Web-based marketplace. Microgaming hosts more than 800 games in their massive download and instant-play collections. At last count, 270 casinos run Microgaming software, alongside a total of 40 poker rooms and poker skins. Their slot games are well-reviewed, though they’re not the fully-featured, cinematic titles found from producers like Betsoft and NetEntertainment, profiled immediately below.
NetEntertainment is a Scandinavian game design company that started out as a provider of land-based slots and entered the online market in the last five years or so. NetEnt’s software is among the best-reviewed of all online game designers. These are beautiful games with a focus on graphics, special effects, and in-game features like side games and bonuses. NetEnt software is available in twenty different languages, and they host a library of some 200 casino games, most of which are slot and video poker variants.
Headquartered in both Sweden and Malta, NetEntertainment has one foot in the traditional world of online gambling and one in a place known as a design haven. Founded in 1974, the company was briefly forced out of Sweden by a ban on slot machines. The company’s exodus to Eastern Europe for two decades created the competitive spirit their known for today, the one that drives them to produce state-of-the-art online slots that cut no design or entertainment corners. In case you can’t tell already — we love NetEntertainment slots. Their licensed games like Aliens and South Park combine existing brand recognition with skilled game development to produce familiar games with lots of replay value.
While you may not have heard of NextGen, there’s a good chance that you’ve played one of their games. That’s because this Australian company prefers to offer their services to larger slot machine developers, thus allowing their creations to be bundled together with the suite of games provided by industry titans such as Microgaming and Playtech. Their emphasis has been on slots since they debuted in 1999, but they’ve also released a smattering of titles related to poker, casino gaming, and even the lottery.
NextGen prides itself on innovation, but they also make sure to provide all the basics that keep players coming back for more. Their titles were initially found in land-based casinos, but the rise of the digital age has led to an almost exclusive interest in the online and mobile gaming markets. They’ve created over 100 slots, and they’ve peppered them with innovative features such as the ability to choose where a wild symbol appears on the reels. Doctor Love is one of their more popular original creations, and NextGen also provides a number of licensed slots such as Andre the Giant, Judge Dredd, and Psycho.
Novomatic debuted in 1980, and they spent years focusing on developing land-based slot machines for their customers. Their efforts enjoyed tremendous success, and they’ve grown into a company that generates billions of dollars per year, employees more than 20,000, and does business in over 80 nations. In 2009, they acquired an Internet game developer known as Greentube, and this led the company to become involved in the online market. Since then, they’ve produced hundreds of games for their clients and used some of the revenue to buy up additional design firms.
Known for their reliable slots, Novomatic keeps cranking out titles at a steady pace. Most of these may not be considered cutting edge, but they deliver a solid all-around experience that’s sure to please all but the most finicky players. Their online slots are available in a no-download format, allowing players to access them from any computer or mobile device. Some of their more notable virtual slots include the following: Banana Splash, Book of Ra, and Hoffmania (yes, it’s about David Hasselhoff).
Playtech is another of the heavy hitters on this list, a top designer of online gambling software. Playtech is publicly-traded on the Main Market in London. Founded in 1999, Playtech doesn’t just produce well-reviewed slot and video poker titles. They also provide back-end solutions and turnkey gambling software — that means they don’t just make the games, they also help run the sites that host the games. Playtech was founded in Estonia in 1999 by a group of people with limited experience in the then-burgeoning online gambling business. A group of software engineers and artists were originally responsible for the company and its games, a nice change from the typical corporate origin stories of these design firms.
By 2001, Playtech had several games live at major online casinos all over the world. For the next decade, Playtech was at the leading edge of online gambling design, being among the first companies to produce live dealer games, new variants of popular bingo software, and a poker network that is still popular today. Now that Playtech has crossed over into the land-based industry, they’ve come full circle, and are a major player in every part of the global gaming business. Their games are the typical blend of licensed and proprietary themes, with a lot of style variation and a focus on things like 3D graphics and progressive jackpots.
Rounding out the big names in the casino software design industry is Realtime Gaming, known in the business by the initials RTG. If you set aside the fact that RTG hasn’t produced a single title for the land-based market, they’re one of the world’s top providers of slots and other games of chance. RTG was founded in 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia. After the passage of the UIGEA bill, the founders were forced to sell to a foreign holding company, so that the firm now has its headquarters in the Netherlands Antilles. They’re one of the largest providers of gambling games on the Internet, with a large number of download, instant-play, and mobile-capable slot and video poker games. If you’re an online gambler, you’ve heard of RTG, and you’ve probably played dozens of their games.
RTG slots appear in lots of online casino libraries — not necessarily because of their quality, but because they’re plentiful and inexpensive to license. Most RTG-powered casinos host a large number of slots, especially in proportion to other games. The fact that Realtime has a huge slot library makes them very attractive to casino operators looking to satisfy their customer’s wants. The majority of RTG’s slot library is made up of what the company calls Real Series slots. These are highly-adaptable games with simple bonus rounds, a small number of pay lines, and a wide range of available bets. Realtime also produces a significant number of All Pays slots. What you won’t find among the hundreds of slot variations in their library are any licensed titles, and only about a dozen games with progressive jackpots.
VGT Slots is a major manufacturer of land-based casino games. They’re a major force in the US gambling business, as big a provider of slot machines and other entertainments as IGT in certain specific markets. VGT focuses mainly on the development, manufacturing, and distribution of Class II games for the US Native American casino industry. VGT was founded in 1991 to serve the burgeoning tribal gaming market.
The company’s games are easy to identify thanks to the ubiquitous Red Screen free spins feature. Since VGT was acquired by Aristocrat Leisure in 2014, we’ve started to see a lot of talk about a possible expansion into online gambling by this company with decades’ experience producing harshly-regulated games. We think VGT could be a big force in the future of US online slot play. Their joint venture with Aristocrat makes that seem even more likely. VGT is the world’ top provider of Class II machines and stands right now as the largest privately-owned gambling machine manufacturer in the United States. The company now operates 20,000+ Class II machines in more than 140 tribal casinos and tribal-run game rooms all over North America. If you’ve ever visited a tribal casino in Oklahoma, you’ve definitely played a VGT game. IN that massive gambling market, they are the dominant force. VGT is in the process of expanding their holdings on the US Gulf Coast as well.
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