BALLY & WILLIAMS
Date: 1st August, 2014
Neither brand has been used in the manufacturing of new pinball machines for more than a dozen years, but both the Williams and Bally names continued long after their pinball operations closed their door for the last time.
The success of Williams' slot machine operation is often cited as the cause of the closure of the, by then, relatively insignificant pinball division in 1999.
The parent company, which was founded by Harry Williams in 1944 and renamed itself WMS Industries in 1987, chose to focus its resources entirely on the gaming side of the business it had created in 1991, called Williams Gaming.
WMS Industries remained as a publicly-listed company until January 2013, when it was bought by Scientific Games for $1.5bn.
Bally, meanwhile, was originally Ray Moloney's company which he founded in 1932 and which continued to make pinballs (except during WW2) until 1988, when the business was purchased by Williams Electronics.
Pinballs continued to be produced by Williams Electronics under the Bally brand until 1999, but Bally's slots business was spun-off and sold to Alliance Gaming in 1995, who renamed themselves Bally Technologies.
Today, Scientific Games announced their intention to purchase Bally Technologies for $3.3bn, bringing the remains of both the original Bally and Williams pinball companies back together under one parent.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but has the support of the board of both companies. It follows last month's purchase of fellow slot machine maker IGT for $6.4bn by GTECH to create the world's largest gaming machine business, which will be based in the UK.
© Pinball News 2014