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Visionary Slot Development: The History of IGT


If you have played slots, chances are you played something developed by IGT.

International Game Technology (IGT) has been pioneering slot machine technology since 1971. Ever since they got their foot in the door with the wild success of their slots they have been constantly expanding. They have artfully evolved from the top American slot machine developer to an international gaming powerhouse. From slot machines to online gaming, their presence is felt worldwide. They command an army of 10,000 plus employees with offices in every major hub in the world. Their approach to business can be described as both tenacious & visionary. They have grown their vast network by being at the forefront of slot machine technology. From land based slot machines to online gaming, IGT has made itself the cornerstone of every aspect of slots.

The Method Behind Staggering Success: IGT Explained

It’s hard to imagine that just 45 years ago no one in the casino industry knew about IGT. That’s because they started out as a private company in 1971. They didn’t go public until they had already made a name for themselves with the explosive popularity of their slot machines in 1981. They used the raging popularity of their slots to dive headfirst into slot machine development. IGT became the first company to use computerized player tracking. They also were responsible for developing frequent player rewards programs. This became an essential marketing tool for casinos & is still a key marketing feature to this day. Back in 1984 IGT saw the immense potential of this program & focused on perfecting it. Over time they further developed it into the infamous IGT Advantage & sbX systems.

IGT used these innovative programs to snowball into an international powerhouse. They got listed on the NASDAQ, & parlayed this success into a whole slew of new developments. They made their debut into microprocessor-driven spinning-reel slots with the groundbreaking development of the S-Slot. IGT went on to introduce the world’s first wide area progressive slot machine system in Nevada. The Nevada Megabucks slot machine created massive fanfare with an initial base top jackpot of $1 million. These massive jackpots were unheard of at the time. IGT then started branching out to international gambling markets when they entered Australia’s country’s club market.
Just a decade after they went public IGT grew exponentially when they were listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The next year they founded IGT Europe which serviced casinos across the continent. 1994 proved to be another exciting year since IGT opened up offices in Argentina & South Africa. That same year IGT was crowned top-performing stock of the year by the NYSE.

They didn’t stop there, for the next 11 years IGT became a legendary slot machine producer with a combination of key acquisitions & groundbreaking developments. In 1996 they debuted Wheel of Fortune, one of the most popular gaming machines of all time. They also introduced multi-denomination technology to slots with Game King. In 1998 IGT tapped into the Native American market when they bought out Sodak Gaming. In 2001 IGT doubled their revenue when they acquired Silicon Gaming & Anchor Gaming. They also acquired Acres gaming and took advantage of their brilliant bonusing & systems technology to seduce more players.

After dominating land slots, the only place left to conquer was online. In 2005 IGt celebrated their 25th anniversary by buying out online gaming giant WagerWorks. This purchase jump-started their foray into online gambling. The went on to introduce the first multi-level progressive MegaJackpots game, Fort Knox. They went on to introduce a slew of wildly popular games, as well as continuing their international expansion. Nowadays they have offices in Brazil, China, Mexico, as well as controlling half of the land slots in the US.

No matter how big you get, there is always a bigger fish. This business rule was showcased when IGT got bought out by Italian gaming giant GTECH. In 2014 GTECH bought out IGT for a staggering $6.7 billion. GTECH quickly dropped their name & now operate as International Game Technology PLC. We can only speculate how this gaming powerhouse will grow from here.

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