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|Fate||Acquired by Hilton|
|Founded||January 10, 1932|
|Defunct||December 18, 1996|
|Products|| Pinball |
later expanded into casinos, video games, health clubs, and theme parks
Bally Manufacturing, later renamed Bally Entertainment, was an American company that began as a pinball and slot machine manufacturer, and later expanded into casinos, video games, health clubs, and theme parks. It was acquired by Hilton Hotels in 1996. Its brand name is still used by several businesses previously linked to Bally Manufacturing, most notably Bally Technologies.
The Bally Manufacturing Corporation was founded by Raymond Moloney on January 10, 1932, when Bally's original parent, Lion Manufacturing, established the company to make pinball games. The company took its name from its first game, Ballyhoo. The company, based in Chicago, quickly became a leading maker of the games. In the late 1930s, Moloney began making gambling equipment, and had great success developing and improving the mechanical slot machines that were the core of the nascent gaming industry. After manufacturing munitions and airplane parts during World War II, Bally Manufacturing Corporation continued to produce innovations in flipperless pinball machines, bingo machines, payout machines and console slot machines through the late 1950s. They also designed and manufactured vending machines and established a coffee vending service. The company made a brief venture into the music business with their own record label, Bally Records.
Moloney died in 1958, and the company floundered briefly. With the financial failure of its parent company, Bally was bought out by a group of investors in 1963. Throughout the 1960s, Bally continued to dominate the slot machine industry, cornering over 90% of the worldwide market by the end of the decade. In 1964, Bally introduced the first electromechanical slot machine in 1963, called the "Money Honey.", Bally became a publicly traded company and made several acquisitions, including German company Guenter Wulff-Apparatebau (renamed Bally Wulff) and Midway Manufacturing, an amusement game company from Schiller Park, Illinois.
In the late 1970s, Bally entered the casino business when New Jersey legalized gambling in Atlantic City. This effort moved forward even though the company was temporarily unable to attain a permanent license for the completed casino. During this period, company head William T. O'Donnell was forced to resign because of alleged links to organized crime. Prior to this, Mr O'Donnell strenuously denied any such links.For example, when questioned at the Moffitt Royal Commission (the NSW Clubs Royal Commission) - an investigation held New South Wales, Australia - on alleged criminal activities with US and Australian criminals, he admitted that Genovese Mafia boss, Jerry Catena (Gerardo Catena), once owned shares in the business, "but I bought him out." He also denied knowing Chicago mobster, Joseph Dan Testa, even though Australian Police described Testa "as a representative of Bally who visited Australia."
The company opened the Park Place Casino & Hotel on December 29, 1979.Also in the late 1970s, Bally made an entry into the growing market for home computer games. The Bally Professional Arcade, as the machine was called, had advanced features for the time. These included a palette of 256 colors and the ability to play 4-voice music. The machine also shipped with a cartridge that allowed users to do a limited amount of programming on the machine themselves (using the BASIC language), and record their creations on cassette tape. The machine's price point was above the Atari 2600 (its major competitor), and it had a much more limited set of available games. Despite a loyal following, it failed to compete successfully. During the 1970s and early 1980s, Midway became a primary source of income for Bally as it became an early arcade video game maker and obtained the licenses for three of the most popular video games of all time: Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man.
By the mid-1980s, the company again had a strong balance sheet and began buying other businesses including the Six Flags amusement park chain in 1983, and the Health and Tennis Corporation of America. The health club division, under "Bally Total Fitness", grew during the 1980s and 1990s. The company also purchased several casinos, including the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip (which was subsequently re-branded as Bally's Las Vegas), The MGM Grand Reno (Reno, Nevada) and the Golden Nugget Atlantic City which was branded Bally's Grand and then later "The Grand-A Bally's Casino Resort". This expansion quickly took its toll on the company's finances, and Bally was soon forced to sell off several divisions, including Six Flags and Bally-Midway. The pinball division, along with Midway, was acquired by Williams Electronics in 1988.
In 1990, Bally came under new management as its largest shareholder, Arthur Goldberg, was appointed chairman and began a restructuring process.By 1993, the company had sold off several divisions and used the proceeds to pay down debts, including the slot machine division (which became Bally Gaming International, an independent company); Scientific Games, a maker of lottery equipment; Bally's Reno; and exercise equipment maker Life Fitness. The Aladdin's Castle chain of video arcades was sold that year to Namco, and was renamed as Namco Cybertainment.
The company opened Bally's Saloon & Gambling Hall, a riverboat casino in Mhoon Landing, Mississippi in December 1993.It was moved to Robinsonville in 1995 and became part of a joint venture with Lady Luck Gaming.
In 1994, the company changed its name to Bally Entertainment, to reflect its focus on the casino business and the fact that it no longer had any manufacturing operations.It also announced that the health club business would be spun off to shareholders, to further narrow Bally's focus on casinos. The spin-off was completed in January 1996, with Bally Total Fitness becoming a separate company.
In May 1995, Bally Entertainment announced plans to develop Paris Las Vegas, a new casino hotel next to Bally's Las Vegas. The project would eventually begin construction in 1997 and open in 1999 at an estimated cost of $760 million.
In June 1996, Bally agreed to be acquired by Hilton Hotels Corporation.The sale was completed on December 18, 1996, with Hilton paying $3 billion ($2 billion in stock plus $1 billion in assumed debt). Later, Hilton's casino division, including the former Bally properties, was spun off as Park Place Entertainment (later Caesars Entertainment, Inc.), which was acquired in 2005 by Harrah's Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment Corp.).
Many casinos and businesses worldwide took on the Bally name and logo in the maze of ownership, division spin-offs and licensing agreements. Midway continued to use the Bally name for its pinball games, until WMS Industries (the parent company of Williams) ceased pinball production in 1999. On March 31, 2005, WMS Industries struck a deal with Australian company The Pinball Factory to give them a license for the intellectual properties and the rights to re-manufacture former Bally/Williams games in the field of mechanical pinball. In addition, The Pinball Factory also has bought the right to manufacture new games using the company's new hardware system under the Bally brand. Alliance Gaming, which had bought Bally Gaming International in 1995, changed its name to Bally Technologies. Bally Total Fitness, gambling distributor Bally France, and arcade distributor Bally Pond still use the same 'Bally' logo though any formal business relationships, as of June 2007, are coincidental. The name is most well known for being in the song, "Pinball Wizard" in the rock opera Tommy and its soundtrack.
The Crocodile Hunter Outback Adventure based on the wildlife documentary television series The Crocodile Hunter was in development by Australian pinball manufacturer The Pinball Factory under license from Bally. It was abandoned at the end of 2007 due to the death of the main character of the game, Steve Irwin, and never went into production.
The Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is a hotel, casino, and timeshare resort in Winchester, Nevada. Located near the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip, it is owned by Westgate Resorts and operated by Paragon Gaming. It opened in 1969 as the International Hotel, and was known for many years as the Las Vegas Hilton, then briefly as the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, until taking its current name in 2014. From 1981 to 1990, it was the largest hotel in the world.
Midway Games Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher. Midway's franchises included Mortal Kombat, Rampage, Spy Hunter, NBA Jam, Cruis'n, and NFL Blitz. Midway also acquired the rights to video games that were originally developed by Williams Electronics and Atari Games, such as Defender, Joust, Robotron 2084, Gauntlet, and the Rush series.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is an American gaming hotel and casino corporation founded in Reno, Nevada and based in Paradise, Nevada that owns and operates over 50 properties and seven golf courses under several brands. In 2013, it was the fourth-largest gaming company in the world, with annual revenues of $8.6 billion. Caesars is a public company, majority-owned by a group of private equity firms led by Apollo Global Management, TPG Capital and Paulson & Co. and Carl Icahn.
Bally Technologies, Inc. is an American manufacturer of slot machines and other gaming technology based in Enterprise, Nevada. It is owned by Scientific Games Corporation.
WMS Industries, Inc. is an American electronic gaming and amusement manufacturer in Enterprise, Nevada. WMS traces its roots to 1943, to the Williams Manufacturing Company, founded by Harry E. Williams. However, the company that became WMS Industries was formally founded in 1974 as Williams Electronics, Inc.
Bally's Las Vegas is a hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. It is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The hotel has 2,812 guestrooms that are 450 sq ft (42 m2) or larger and over 175,000 sq ft (16,300 m2) of banquet and meeting space. The casino occupies 68,375 sq ft (6,352.2 m2). About 75% of the rooms are in the Resort Tower which had renovations completed in 2018. The remaining rooms are located in the Jubilee Tower, constructed in 1981.
1st Jackpot Casino Tunica is a casino and former hotel in Tunica Resorts, Mississippi. It is owned by Gaming & Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National Gaming. The casino has 46,535 square feet (4,323.2 m2) of gaming space, with 899 slot machines and 16 table games.
WMS Gaming is a manufacturer of slot machines, video lottery terminals and software to help casinos manage their gaming operations. It also offers online and mobile games. The company is based in Chicago, Illinois. WMS is a subsidiary of WMS Industries, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Scientific Games Corporation in 2013.
Grand Sierra Resort is a hotel and casino located approximately three miles east of Downtown Reno, Nevada. The hotel has 1,990 guest rooms and suites, 10 restaurants, including two by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer and a casino with 63,584 sq ft (5,907.1 m2) of space. The Grand Sierra has a movie theater, a Race & Sports Book, nightclubs including LEX a 25,000 sq ft venue with a swimming pool, lake golf driving range, a two screen cinema, an RV park and a recently opened ice rink. It is owned and operated by Southern California based investment group headed by The Meruelo Group.
Bally's Atlantic City is a hotel and casino on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey that is owned by Vici Properties and operated by Caesars Entertainment. The Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel stood on the site before the casino was built. It is famous for its address of "Park Place and the Boardwalk", two locations popularized by the board game Monopoly. Bally's is one of the largest hotels on the boardwalk with nearly 1,169 rooms. Its Dennis Tower opened in 1921. In 1997, The Wild Wild West Casino was opened as an expansion of Bally's.
Affinity Gaming, formerly known as Herbst Gaming, is an American private casino operator based in Paradise, Nevada that operates five casinos in Nevada, two in Missouri, and one in Iowa.
The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, formerly known as Golden Nugget,Bally's Grand, The Grand, Atlantic City Hilton and ACH, is a closed casino and hotel located at the southern end of the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, owned and operated by Colony Capital. It was the city's first and only "locals casino". The Atlantic Club permanently closed on January 13, 2014, at 12:01 AM, largely as a result of dwindling casino visitors to Atlantic City due to increased competition in neighboring states. A third of Atlantic City's boardwalk casinos closed the same year, the others being Revel, Trump Plaza, and Showboat. Redevelopment proposals include a water park.
Resorts Casino Tunica, formerly Southern Belle Casino and Harrah's Tunica Mardi Gras Casino, was a 201-room hotel and a 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) casino located in Tunica Resorts, Mississippi. It was one of three casinos located in the "Casino Strip" area, along with Sam's Town and Hollywood Casino. Resorts was owned by Gaming & Leisure Properties and operated by Penn National Gaming.
Caesars Entertainment, Inc. was a Paradise, Nevada based business that was the largest owner, operator and developer of casinos throughout the world. It was part of the Hilton Hotels chain and was spun off from Hilton as Park Place Entertainment in 1998 and renamed as Caesars Entertainment in 2003. The company was acquired in 2005 by Harrah's Entertainment, which later took on the Caesars Entertainment name.
The Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg in Vicksburg, Mississippi is a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) casino with an 89-room hotel. It is owned and operated by Eldorado Resorts.
Harrington Raceway & Casino is a harness racing track and casino located on the fairgrounds of the Delaware State Fair, just south of Harrington, Delaware, 16 miles (26 km) south of Dover. The casino, formerly known as Midway Slots, has over 1,800 slot machines, table games, simulcasting, and sports betting. In addition, the venue promotes and hosts concerts and other similar entertainment revues. Multiple dining options including a buffet are available as well.
SHFL entertainment, Inc. was a manufacturer of shuffling machines, table games, slot machines, and other casino products, based in Paradise, Nevada. Founded in 1983, it was acquired by Bally Technologies in 2013. The company designed Deck Mate, one of the primary card shuffling devices used in casinos.
Lady Luck Gaming Corp. was a gaming company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that developed and operated casinos in the Midwestern and Southern United States. It was acquired by Isle of Capri Casinos in 2000.
Sodak Gaming, Inc. was a gaming company based in Rapid City, South Dakota that distributed slot machines to Indian casinos and financed casino projects. It was acquired by International Game Technology (IGT) in 1999 for $230 million.
Dotty's is a chain of slot machine parlors with about 175 locations in Nevada, Oregon and Montana and another 150 locations planned in Illinois. The business model is controversial, with sites "offering minimal food and beverage choices with a heavy focus on gambling." The chain caters to women aged 35 and older, with a clean, well-lit atmosphere meant to invoke "your grandmother's kitchen".