A number of different companies, both large and small, together make up the greater gambling landscape. There are online gaming companies, slot machine makers, resort owners and more. Gambling companies tend to have some of the more interesting histories and back stories. Acquisitions, sales, bankruptcies, and mergers happen at a very high rate. This is due in part to how competitive the industry is and also because of the nature of gambling which is always developing and changing. If you look at a picture of Las Vegas from the 1970s and compare it to today, you will start to get a feel for just how dramatic the differences are. As you can imagine, an almost infinite number of companies came and went in this time, and that trend is sure to be repeated for the indefinite future.
There are a lot of small casino companies who manage anywhere from one to a few properties, but there are a handful who dominate the majority of the brick and mortar casinos in the United States and around the world. Most of these brands are household names, including Harrah’s (or Caesars Entertainment as it is now known), Wynn, and MGM. The average gambler likely does not realize that CET actually owns many of the different casinos on the strip, and not just Caesars and Harrahs. On the same note, MGM also owns Aria and Bellagio.
When you visit a heavily trafficked gambling city like Las Vegas, you will see a number of casinos over and over again. For example, LV has multiple “Terrible’s” casinos throughout various parts of the city. Even still, some of these smaller and lesser known casinos are quite frequently owned by much larger parent companies.
Online gaming is quite different from other casino brands. A large number of these companies were founded on the internet, primarily in the early 2000s when online gambling was much less scrutinized and the market in the US was booming. Over time, a lot of these companies either faded away completely, transitioned to non-US only brands, or continued to operate in the United States in a legal gray area. Today, many of the most popular and recognizable online gambling companies are even publicly traded.
The difference between online and B&M casinos today is that online sites started and only operate online where physical casinos have been growing in the opposite way. In states and areas where online gambling has become regulated on a state level, names like CET have started to compete with the old online only companies.
There are not that many different big slot machine companies. Though there are innumerable different titles and games, most of them are made by a select few number of companies. Ballys (not to be confused with the casinos with the same name), IGT, and WMS are some of the most recognized and abundant game makers today. Take a look at the next machine you play and the odds are that it will be made by one of these companies.
IGT Slot Machines
Scientific and WMS Slot Machines
A number of slot machine companies who originally only produced physical software and hardware for casinos have now transitioned into online gaming. IGT is an example of a company who has now asserted a real presence with online slots. As this trend continues, more slot players will be able to play their favorite games online from the comfort of their own homes or wherever they have access to the internet.