WMS Gaming

Published: 07/01/2013

Originally launched in 1943 as Williams Gaming, the Chicago-based company today known as WMS Gaming has played a key role in the development of game machines for nearly seven decades. Founder Henry Williams was a Stanford University-trained engineer who invented the “tilt" mechanism for pinball machines and, in doing so, he forever changed the nature of pinball in America.

In the years after World War II, Williams moved his business from arcade games to a broader array of interactive devices. Those included video lottery terminals, amusement machines for the home video market and then slot machines for the casino gaming industry, as WMS Gaming sought to meet growing demand for electro-mechanical entertainment products.

In 1996, the company achieved a major breakthrough in slots technology when it released a new video slot game called “Reel ‘Em In.” The double-screen unit with a fishing theme had the distinction of becoming the first in a series of multi-line, multi-coin secondary bonus video slot games. It was soon followed by Jackpot Party, Boom and Filthy Rich, all of which can still be found on casino floors today.

In this way, WMS established itself as a leading innovator in “the design, manufacture and distribution of electronic and digital gaming entertainment and gaming machines for the casino industry.” The company’s core values were identified by management as Passion, Integrity, Innovation, Quality and Respect. These attributes are said to “create a deeply embedded Culture of Innovation that fuels the imagination and creativity of (WMS) development teams and drives innovation with a purpose.”

The WMS line-up of games today ranges from such well-established proprietary titles as Reel ‘em In!®, Life of Luxury®, Zeus™ and Jackpot Party® to titles made available under license agreements, like Monopoly™, The Wizard Of Oz™, The Lord Of The Rings™, Clue™, The Price Is Right™ and other popular themes.

During the last few years, WMS has worked to establish new standards for casino gaming entertainment. These include the introduction of revolutionary technology platforms, such as Community Gaming®, Adaptive Gaming®, Transmissive Reels® gaming and Sensory Immersion gaming technologies.

Most recently, WMS Gaming has expanded its operations to encompass online interactive applications. The company’s researchers are developing products, services and end-to-end solutions intended to address global online wagering, casual, social and mobile gaming opportunities.

In 2011, WMS Gaming successfully launched its own online JackpotParty.com casino in the U.K. The operation is managed out of Aldernay and offers a unique mix of WMS titles, including Black Knight slots, All That Glitters 2 and the just-released “Glitz,” all based upon machines familiar in the bricks and mortar casino environment. With in the past two years, WMS Gaming has also adventured into the world of social networking. Its inaugural creation was the Lucky Cruise™ social casino seen exclusively on Facebook®. Now, WMS is working on a comprehensive suite of products and managed services that will enable its casino customers to “stay connected to their players, wherever and however players find it most convenient to seek gaming entertainment today and in the future.” Translated, that mean mobile gaming applications are in the pipeline.

At present, WMS games are available only to players located in the United Kingdom. Plans are underway to expand the company’s Internet presence, but until nee casino operators are signed, the easiest access to WMS games for non-UK residents is on the floors of land-based casinos. The company has a large share of the games installed in the United States and Australia, with units in Macau and many European venues, too.

Published on: 07/01/2013

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