Slots occupy roughly one-third of the floor space of most landbased casinos and are available in the hundreds at online gambling sites. Game manufacturers have been steadily spewing slot machines for more than a century now. Some of these companies, like IGT and Aristocrat, are old dogs in the gambling industry and have started as landbased slot machine vendors. They have proven there is life in the old dogs yet and have successfully adapted themselves to the changes in the constantly evolving gaming industry, creating newer, better, and more original slots.
Such manufacturers have built a bridge between the landbased and the online sector, catering to both markets. Other companies, like Yggdrasil and Pragmatic Play, are younger and focus exclusively on the development of innovative online slots. Most online casinos prefer to work with third-party slot suppliers. A select few gambling operators develop some of their slots in-house and rely on proprietary software.
This page features a roundup of what we consider the best slot suppliers in the industry alongside brief overviews of each of the listed companies. Also included are recommendations for the best slot games each company has released so far.
We did our best to make our selection of slot suppliers as exhaustive as possible. The trouble is thousands of slots have been launched over the years, so listing all titles and companies in one place is hardly a feasible option. However, if you do feel we have missed out on a supplier that you think deserves to be on this list, feel free to get in touch with us to let us know.
Major Manufacturers of Landbased Slot Machines
We should not forget slots started out as simple mechanical machines with three rotating drums and a limited number of symbols. A coin was inserted, a lever was pulled, and the machine paid if the three reels produced a winning combination on the payline.
But things have changed for the better over the past decade. Major manufacturers like IGT, Bally, and Aristocrat have helped shape the way landbased slots play by introducing a number of improvements over the years.
Some of these include motor-driven coin hoppers, wide-area progressive jackpots, multi-tiered progressive jackpots, bar-coded payment slips, and the banknote validator. The arrival of the virtual reel allowed for bigger payouts, more symbol combinations, and different variance levels.
The companies listed below supply slots both for the brick-and-mortar and the online sector. We have placed them in a separate category because they started out as landbased machine manufacturers.
IGT (International Game Technology) wins the race in terms of sheer numbers and is commonly regarded as the largest manufacturer of landbased slot machines in the world. This is a Las Vegas-based company but it has offices in over 300 locations across 100 countries in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa.
IGT revolutionized slot manufacturing with the 1986 launch of the first ever wide-area progressive game, Megabucks.
The next decade saw the launch of another legendary jackpot slot by IGT, the Wheel of Fortune game, based on the eponymous television contest show.
The game became one of the most successful branded slots in history, awarding more than a thousand jackpot prizes of over $1 million since its launch in 1996.
But the company did not stop there. IGT successfully penetrated the online gambling market with the 2005 acquisition of WagerWorks. In 2014, IGT was purchased by the German company Gtech for the hefty sum of $6.4 billion. The acquiring company decided to stick with the popular and familiar name of its acquired brand.
- Popular landbased slots by IGT – Wheel of Fortune, Megabucks, Ghostbusters, Da Vinci Diamonds, Treasures of Troy
- Popular online slots by IGT – Cleopatra, Siberian Storm, Cats, Golden Goddess, Pixies of the Forest, Kitty Glitter, Wolf Run
Bally Technologies is a leading manufacturer of slot machines and other landbased gaming equipment. Established in 1968 as Advanced Patent Technology, the company first dealt with patents in other fields like electronics, medicine, and optics. It patented devices like ultrasonic meat tenderizers and dry cleaning machines.
The company’s entry into the gambling market commenced eleven years later with the 1979 acquisition of major Nevada slot route operator the United Coin Machine Company.
In the years to follow Bally introduced several revolutionary improvements, including a new multi-game machine format that enabled players to choose from several different types of games. The machine in question was called the Game Maker and offered video poker, slots, and video blackjack.
Another notable achievement of the company is the introduction of the so-called iReels, a feature that allows for realistic three-dimensional effects on an LCD screen.
In November 2014, Bally was acquired by Scientific Games for the sum of $5.1 billion. Today, Bally is still a force to be reckoned with and continues to supply landbased casinos with innovative slot machines.
Many of its most popular landbased creations were adapted for online play, including branded slots themed around popular musicians, movies, and television shows.
- Popular landbased slots by Bally Technologies – Cash Spin, Quick Hit, Blazing 7s, Hot Shot, Money Wheel, Titanic
- Popular online slots by Bally Technologies – Wonder Woman, Anchorman The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Michael Jackson King of Pop, Monopoly Millionaire, Wacky Races
Based in Australia, Aristocrat has been “bringing joy to life through the power of play” ever since 1953, when it was founded by Len Ainsworth. If the name sounds familiar to you, this is only because it belongs to the chairman of Ainsworth Game Technology, another major player on the gambling scene.
Aristocrat revolutionized the industry with the launch of the Club Master, a game that features a free-play lock. The 1960s were a period of great expansion for Aristocrat whose operations penetrated the European and North American markets.
The company’s global growth continued well into the next decade when Aristocrat launched game-changers like the Wild West, an all-electronic slot machine. Aristocrat is also responsible for the release of the first slot machine to use five reels. Its Cash Express slot is one of the first games to offer progressive jackpots with multiple tiers.
The company was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1996. It is presently licensed to operate in over 200 jurisdictions. An agreement with Amaya enabled Aristocrat to penetrate the online gambling market and launch online versions of its most iconic landbased slots.
- Popular landbased slots by Aristocrat – Cash Express, Sons of Anarchy, Buffalo Stampede, 5 Dragons Legends, Big Red, Wolf Moon, Queen of the Nile, Britney Spears
- Popular online slots by Aristocrat – Big Ben, 5 Dragons, Dolphin Treasure, Lucky 88, Miss Kitty, Moon Festival, Firelight
You probably will be surprised to learn WMS (Williams Gaming) started out as a manufacturer of pinball and fortuneteller machines back in 1943. Founded by Harry Williams, the company branched out to slot manufacturing in 1994, shifting its entire focus to gaming several years later.
The year 1997 was a turning point in WMS’ history. This is when they launched the first hugely successful slot with multiple paylines, Reel ‘Em In. The game paid on five win lines – three horizontal ones, a V-shaped one, and a chevron-shaped one. This fishing-themed slot also featured an original bonus game where players pick an angler to reel in extra credits.
WMS is particularly popular for branded slots themed after music icons, franchises, and blockbusters, with games like Brice Lee, Elton John, Clint Eastwood, Star Trek, and Men in Black among the prime examples.
The Nevada-based company derives most of its revenue from the North American market (70% in 2010) but its presence worldwide is also quite strong, especially in countries like Australia, the UK, Spain, and South Africa, among others.
In 2013, WMS was purchased for $1.5 billion by Scientific Games, but the merger was officially completed three years later, in 2016.
- Popular landbased slots by WMS – The Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Reel ‘Em In, Bier Haus, Montezuma
- Popular online slots by WMS – KISS, Elvis, Raging Rhino, Zeus, Enchanted Fairy, Leprechaun’s Fortune, OMG! Kittens
Barcrest is a UK-based company that has been providing landbased casinos with slot machines ever since 1968. In the following decades, Barcrest expanded its operations and evolved into one of the most recognizable suppliers of landbased slot machines on British soil.
US gambling giant IGT was looking to expand its operations to the Old Continent and purchased the company in 1998. Another acquisition followed a decade or so later when Barcrest became a member of the Scientific Games family of brands.
- Popular landbased slots by Barcrest – Rainbow Riches, Monty’s Millions, Jewel in the Crown, Ooh Aah Dracula
- Popular online slots by Barcrest – Mermaid Queen, Moon Shadow, Excalibur’s Choice, Mighty Black Knight
Novomatic debuted on the gaming scene in 1980 and has since expanded its operations to over 80 countries worldwide. Its portfolio consists of more than 300 premium online and landbased slots.
The company is headquartered in Austria but has offices in over 40 other locations including Italy, Spain, the USA, the Philippines, South Africa, and Hungary. Novomatic is considered one of the top suppliers of slots on European soil, generating revenue of €5 billion in 2018 alone.
It has several important contributions to the gaming industry. The Austrian company was among the first slot manufacturers to begin incorporating touchscreens to their machines. It branched out to the online gambling sector in 2010 after the acquisition of Greentube.
Many of Novomatic’s most iconic landbased games were adapted for online play. Unlike younger software studios that insist on sophisticated, life-like graphics and animations, Novomatic maintains its emphasis on playability and classic design.
- Popular landbased slots by Novomatic – Rumpel Wildspins, Book of Ra, Captain Venture, Gorilla
- Popular online slots by Novomatic – Lucky Lady’s Charm, Hoffmania, Sizzling Hot, Sparta, Tales of Darkness, Columbus
Meet the Best Online Slot Software Developers
The online gambling industry has been thriving over the past two decades. Part of this success can be attributed to large software development companies like Microgaming, Playtech, and NetEnt, which specialize exclusively in the provision of online casino games.
Such companies have gained recognition thanks to the innovative features of their slots. These are the names behind the three largest wide-area progressive jackpot networks in the world. The three companies have been around ever since the dawn of online gambling and are still doing well.
Several younger slot development companies like Yggdrasil and Pragmatic Play have entered the market in recent years, introducing new concepts, unconventional features, and modern designs.
NetEnt is a Sweden-headquartered supplier of casino gaming solutions, including top-shelf slots, progressives, table games, and live dealer games. At the time of its arrival in 1996, NetEnt used the Java technology for its games but has since transitioned to HTML5, which is rapidly becoming a standard in this industry.
This is a global company that has successfully penetrated a huge number of regulated markets across Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia. The company is publicly traded on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and has over a thousand employees on its roster.
NetEnt’s slots are exclusively available via an instant-play platform and have earned the company multiple accolades over the years. The Swedish developer received recognition in 2016 with an EGR award for Innovation in Slot Provision.
The previous year it was dubbed Slot Provider of 2015. Among its latest achievements in this field is receiving a 2019 Global Gaming Award for its slot Jumanji, which won in the category GGA Casino Product of the Year.
- Popular online slots by NetEnt – Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Jack and the Beanstalk, Narcos, Jumanji, Hotline, Dead or Alive, Vikings, Twin Spin, Jack Hammer, Aloha! Cluster Pays, Asgardian Stones
Established in 2015, Pragmatic Play is one of the newest members of the growing family of online slot suppliers. Author Maya Angelo once said there is strength in diversity and the software developers of Pragmatic Play seem to agree.
Despite its young age, the studio has expanded its portfolio to over 100 unique slots and casino games. It ranks among the fastest-growing gambling companies in the world.
Pragmatic Play has won several prestigious accolades over the last few years, including an EGR award for Innovation in Slot Provision in 2018.
The list of online casinos to offer slots by Pragmatic Play is constantly increasing, with some of its largest clients being Mr Green, LeoVegas, the Kindred Group, and William Hill. Pragmatic Play has obtained licenses to offer its products in more than 20 regulated markets including the UK, Romania, the Philippines, and Latin America.
- Popular online slots by Pragmatic Play – Great Rhino, Wolf Gold, Mustang Gold, Safari King, Ancient Egypt, Sweet Bonanza, Madame Destiny, Hot Safari
Newer software studio Yggdrasil (est. 2013) claims to offer a “superior” gaming experience. One look at its high-end slot portfolio suffices to see this is not an overstatement. Its slot creations are well-received by players due to their intricate gameplay, advanced graphics, and utmost playability.
The secret of Yggdrasil’s life-like games is the iSense technology, with all slots being built in HTML5. This makes them compatible with a huge range of desktop and mobile devices.
In Yggdrasil’s slots, players can enjoy features such as sticky and expanding wilds, multiple-level free spins, cluster symbols, cascading reels, and a choice of different risk levels. Yggdrasil is also the name behind branded slots like Nitro Circus and progressives like Ozwin’s Jackpots.
- Popular online slots by Yggdrasil – Orient Express, Vikings Go Berserk, Wolf Hunters, Baron Samedi, Dwarf Mine, Jackpot Raiders, Gem Rocks, Eastern Island, Nirvana, Dr. Fortuno
Playtech (est. 1999) is one of the most experienced providers of online slot software, alongside Microgaming and NetEnt. The company has offices in 17 countries and has been issued licenses from over 20 regulated jurisdictions.
But Playtech does much more than developing slot content. It offers turnkey solutions, which means its software platform provides everything an online gambling operator might need, from casino games, lotteries, and sports betting to promotional and personalization tools.
Playtech enjoys great popularity for its suite of progressive jackpot games. Its Marvel-themed progressive slots were all the rage several years ago. However, the company took them down in April 2017 after its license expired.
The next step for Playtech was to unleash The Age of the Gods upon the world, a series of progressive mythology-themed slots with enormous random jackpots. The Isle of Man-based company is also known for its broad range of branded games. It includes titles like Top Gun, Rocky, Ace Ventura Pet Detective, and Gladiator.
- Popular online slots by Playtech – Epic Ape, Buffalo Blitz, Beach Life, Cat in Vegas, Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven, Irish Luck, Jackpot Giant, White King
By far, Microgaming boasts the most impressive portfolio of slots. It comprises hundreds upon hundreds of titles, which makes sense considering the gambling giant began its operations 25 years ago. This is the company behind the launch of the Gaming Club, the world’s first online casino.
Microgaming is highly recognized for running one of the most lucrative progressive jackpot networks in the industry. Launched in 1998, Microgaming’s Cash Splash became the first online slot to feature a progressive jackpot.
Its Mega Moolah network awarded more than 68 million in cash prizes from January to September 2019 alone.
The company is also popular for its branded range of slot games that spans blockbuster titles like Playboy, Game of Thrones, Bridesmaids, and Jurassic World.
The year 2008 became another milestone in Microgaming’s history with the release of the first online slot that pays on 100 win lines.
Microgaming’s slot products are available via a download platform as well as in instant play on mobile and desktop. The company abandoned the US gaming market in 2008 due to changes in local regulations but retains its strong global presence with licenses from over 20 other jurisdictions.
- Popular online slots by Microgaming – Immortal Romance, Avalon, Thunderstruck, Agent Jane Blonde, Game of Thrones, Tomb Raider, Battlestar Galactica, Bar Bar Black Sheep, King Cashalot, Break Da Bank
Play’n GO is a Scandinavian software supplier, known for its superb mobile slots built in HTML5. The company is based in Sweden but has offices in several other countries including Hungary, Malta, and the UK.
The supplier continues to enhance its global presence. In September 2019, it extended its international reach thanks to an agreement with the Spanish gambling provider Codere.
The slots created by Play’n GO are visually appealing, feature-packed, and diverse in terms of themes. The games are available in around 30 different languages for instant play on mobile and desktop. Players can win huge jackpot prizes in Play’n GO progressives like Gunslinger and Fruit Bonanza.
- Popular online slots by Play’n GO – Demon, Hugo’s Adventures, Rise of Olympus, Legacy of Egypt, Imperial Opera, Moon Princess, Mermaid’s Diamonds, Viking Runecraft, Gemix
New vs. Established Slot Software Studios
Let's discuss how younger software suppliers measure against the old dogs of the industry.
Keen reel spinners often prefer casinos powered by experienced suppliers like Microgaming and Playtech because the latter boast an immaculate reputation for reliability and quality.
Newer companies need time to build slot portfolios as comprehensive as those of their older rivals. Their catalogs feature a significantly smaller number of slot titles.
Additionally, established software studios offer greater diversity in terms of games. Their catalogs comprise hundreds of slot titles, available across a wider range of online casinos.
Additionally, new arrivals to the industry have yet to expand and consolidate their presence on the global gaming market.
The games are adequately audited, which ensures high levels of protection for the players.
The positive here is that such young companies are bent on beating the competition. For the purpose, they incorporate original themes and newer, better features into their slot creations that you are unlikely to see in the games of industry dinosaurs like Microgaming.
What About Proprietary Slots?
The vast majority of online casinos rely on third-party companies for their software platforms and slot collections. However, there are exceptions to this rule as select few operators choose to build their games in-house. Such casinos are said to use proprietary software.
2Pros and Cons
Casinos own the proprietary platform which features games that are unique to the respective operator and can be found nowhere else. This exclusivity is a considerable advantage in one such competitive industry.
Such operators offer a unique reel-spinning experience and flexible promotional systems. One of the few downsides we can think of is that casinos with proprietary software tend to offer slots with smaller progressive jackpots because they reach a smaller player audience.
3Most Popular Gambling Site With Proprietary Software
Perhaps the most popular gambling site that runs on proprietary software is 888casino. There, you can find a range of one-of-a-kind slot products like Greedy Dragon, Wild Turkey, Wild Saloon, Book of Legends, Millionaire Genie, and Oktoberfest Spins.
What Makes a High-End Slot Software Supplier?
The number of slot suppliers has significantly increased in recent years, which makes it difficult for casino newbies to sift out the best providers. While extremely important, gaming diversity is not the only criteria you need to factor in. Below we list several other qualities that make for a high-end soft supplier.
The availability of multiple languages is crucial for some reel spinners who are not fluent enough in English to understand the paytable and use the gaming controls. All providers of premium slots, including big names like Microgaming, Play’n GO, and NetEnt, incorporate multiple language choices into their slots’ gameplay so that their creations can overcome the language barrier.
Most slot fans insist on cross-compatibility, an essential trait considering the whole world has gone mobile in recent years. The best suppliers of slots have already transitioned to using the HTML5 technology. This way, their games are accessible via all modern hand-held and desktop devices.
Innovative Features and Payout Structures
Innovative features and payout structures are of equal importance. Smaller software studios like the Australian Big Time Gaming offer a more limited number of games but each slot is worth trying. The pay structure is so unique that the company has even started to lease its ideas to fellow software companies.
The availability of multiple currencies is yet another factor to consider before you pick a favorite supplier. If a software platform supports only standard options like USD or EUR, international spinners who play in other currencies will have to pay conversion fees.