The history of IGT gaming, one of the world’s most successful casino games suppliers, has been dominated of late by its online and mobile offering. Since its decision to focus on worldwide internet-based accessibility in 2010, IGT has been associated primarily with online and mobile gaming in many players’ minds.
However, the true history of IGT gaming goes all the way back to humble beginnings in 1975, when US businessman William Redd founded the A1 Supply company, renamed Sircoma in 1978, to create computerised casino games for land-based casinos. The company achieved its initial success with a video poker gaming machine, which led to interest from casinos in other games they had to offer. By the time the name was again changed to International Game Technology in 1981, IGT was ready to list on the NASDAQ as a public company.
Innovations in Computerised Casino Play
The history of IGT gaming continued its upward trajectory through the 1980s, creating innovations in the relationship between casinos and computers that was still in its infancy. Acquiring Electronic Data Technologies in 1984, IGT became one of the first operations that could track player behaviour via computer, allowing it to introduce reward programmes for regular players. Today, the latest evolutions of that original player-tracking software still exist in IGT’s sbX and IGT Advantage systems.
But the history of IGT gaming is about more than innovations to benefit casino marketinbg departments; through the years, IGT has created many casino firsts that players have welcomed just as eagerly. For example, IGT’s Nevada Megabucks slots machine was the first that could be linked into a network spanning several locations, which made the first progressive jackpot with a guaranteed minimum prize of US$1-million possible.
Growth and Expansion over the Decades
By 1991, IGT was expanding its operations to Australia as well as in the US, and listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The history of IGT gaming remained one of expansion, innovation and acquisition over the next two-and-a-half decades. In 1992 IGT Europe was established, and in 1994 IGT entered the casino markets in Argentina and South Africa. As growth continued through the 90s and noughties, IGT acquired a number of other gaming companies to boost its expansion.
IGT also expanded into Canada, Russia, Mexico, Japan, China and Macau, and created a slew of popular casino games, like the mega-jackpot slot Fort Knox, or other titles like Cleopatra and Wild Orchid. The Wheel of Fortune slot, still one of the most popular titles in the history of IGT gaming, or indeed any other developer, was released in 1996. The history of IGT gaming has always included plenty of video poker options, and the company has also released a wide range of table games like real money blackjack games.
IGT Becomes a Global Giant
The last chapter in the history of IGT gaming involves its acquisition by parent company Gtech in 2015, which then changed its name to International Game Technology PLC, so the IGT name now applies to all of Gtech’s casino holdings.
Gtech, originally a US company, was itself bought by Italian gaming giant Lottomatica in 2006, with the parent company again opting to adopt the name of its new acquisition. Today, IGT is a global giant that can offer land-based, online mobile gaming on six continents, holding assets worth more than US$15-billion.