International Game Technology is a large company focused on manufacturing electronic machines and technology for gambling applications. The company was founded in 1951 and is often referred to as IGT for short. Though it is now a massive multi-national company with offices all over the world, IGT originally started out as a small business which didn’t start gaining notoriety until they invented video poker in the mid-1970’s.
In 1981, as the popularity of their slot games and video poker machines began gaining popularity, IGT went public. They remain a publicly traded company to this day on the NYSE under the symbol: IGT.
The company now manufactures and distributes a wide range of slot games alongside their iconic Game King video poker machines. Many of the games produced by IGT are the most well known in the entire world. It all started with one simple game; Jacks or Better video poker. Shortly thereafter, Deuces Wild and Joker Poker were added to Game King machines. Today, most of the video poker machines you’ll come across on the casino floor at a casino bar are manufactured by IGT.
Jacks or Better is the game that a majority of video poker variants are based on, and consequently they all have similar strategies. Below is a list of games owned by IGT, which are all derived from the original Jacks or Better. These are common games that can be found on Game King machines; the most popular video poker devices in the world.
Bonus Poker – Offers bigger payouts for quad aces, 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s compared to Jacks or Better.
Double Bonus – Offers 2x payouts of Bonus Poker on all quads with increased jackpots for four aces, 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s. In exchange for these higher payouts, two pair pays half of its normal amount.
Double Double Bonus – Offers similar to Double Bonus, except that there are increased jackpots for quad aces, 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s when one of these cards is also the kicker.
Triple Double Bonus – Four aces with 2, 3, or 4 kicker pays the same as a royal flush. The catch is that full house and flush returns are much lower to make up for this.
Bonus Poker Deluxe – All four of a kind pay 80 credits per coin, however two pair returns even money.
In addition to video poker, IGT is also a major manufacturer and distributor of slot machines. The company owns a variety of the world’s most popular slots titles, including the entire line of Wheel of Fortune slot machines, which were acquired by IGT when the company took over Anchor Gaming in 2001. Some of other popular titles manufactured by IGT include Top Dollar, TMZ, Willy Wonka and the classic Triple Double Diamond – just to name a few.
Needless to say, if you have visited a casino anytime during the last decade, then you have most likely played at least one IGT slot machine. Below is a complete list of all slot machines made by IGT.
Age of Aurora
Da Vinci Diamonds
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Shadow of the Panther
Triple Double Diamond
Wheel of Fortune
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
As one of the world’s largest electronic gaming companies, IGT has slot machines in virtually every US casino. This has allowed them to offer progressive jackpots on some of their slot games. For example, the progressive jackpot on Wheel of Fortune machines are often networked with other casinos in the same market (or state). States like Nevada, New Jersey, and South Dakota allow the networking of Wheel of Fortune and other progressive games, such as IGT’s Megabucks.
IGT distributes three virtual table game machines; Enchanted Blackjack, Golden Baccarat, and Roulette Revolution. While they are not nearly as popular as their slot machines or video poker games, IGT electronic table games are still featured in a large number of casinos around the world.
The original ticket in/ticket out slot payment processing system was invented by IGT under the EZ Pay name. This allowed casinos to close hard-count rooms where coins used to be processed. This new system allowed cash to go to the bank or into tills as bills. The process made it easier for players to move from one machine to another and greatly reduce the number of slot attendants needed. It also allowed for multiple denomination machines.
IGT acquired WagerWorks in 2005. This allowed it to enter the online gaming market. It operates many online casinos in regulated markets in Europe. IGT acquired Entraction in 2011. This was an online poker platform. This was possibly the worst acquisition in the company’s history. It left many markets due to the lack of regulation. The Entraction Network eventually failed and ceased operations due to a lack of players and revenue. The software was never used in the United States, a market where the online poker platform was presumably purchased to enter.
IGT spreads internet casino games in New Jersey through distributor agreements. Online games include its proprietary slot titles, Game King video poker, blackjack, and roulette.
In July 2014, IGT agreed to be acquired by GTECH, formerly known as Lottomatica. The purchase price was $6.4 billion. This included $4.7 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in assumed debt.