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WMS have been an integral cog in the history of electronic gaming throughout the 20th Century. Experienced players may know classic titles like Montezuma and Raging Rhino are WMS pokies. However, you probably won’t know that the company was first founded in 1943 in Chicago, IL by a man called (unsurprisingly) Harry Williams. It’s this long history and extensive games knowledge that means there are loads of WMS casinos now, in 2019.
Harry Williams founded Williams Electronics during the Second World War. Though the manufacturing and importing costs during the war made production virtually impossible, Williams in that time, invented the tilt feature on a pinball table. Once the war ended, Williams was able to put his first gaming devices into production including pinball and fortune telling machines. The first pinball machines that Williams released was named “Suspense” in 1946.
In the following decades, Williams continued to design and manufacture electronic games machines. The production of pinball machines was their modus operandi, and they continued to innovate the form, creating the two inverse bottom flippers that still remain part of the pinball experience today. They also created machines based on sports, such as a baseball game.
In the 1970s, Williams branched out into the burgeoning video games market. Noting the success of Atari’s iconic Pong game, Williams followed that same year with a version of their own. This was their first step into the coin operated arcade game market, and the company also began to design electronic, arcade versions of pinball.
Despite a turbulent gaming industry in the eighties, Williams continued to expand under the umbrella of WMS (which was, of course, short for Williams).
WMS-powered video pokies may be found at a broad selection of New Zealand’s land-based casinos. One of the best vendors in the industry is widely considered to be WMS. Some of their most well-known games, like Raging Rhino, Bruce Lee, Dragon’s Inferno, and Zeus, still attract new players even today.
In 1991, WMS created a new division called WMS Gaming which began to develop video lottery terminals (VLTs or Pokies). This would set the groundwork for the company’s direction moving forward. Despite releasing a pinball machine in 1992 based on the Addams Family Movie, which would go on to be the biggest selling pinball machine of all time, the demand for such devices dwindled throughout the 90s.
So, their attention turned to pokie machines, their first being “Reel ‘em In,” released in 1996. As terrestrial casinos on Native American reservations increased in number, WMS went from strength to strength in their new specialty.
To compete with the likes of Microgaming and NetEnt in the progressive pokies industry, WMS must first prove itself as a serious contender. Mega Moolah and Divine Fortune are still the most popular progressive jackpot pokies, although WMS’ Dancing in Rio is not a bad title, either.
Slots with licensed themes are also available from WMS. At the time of this writing, our team of reviewers at Inside Casino have assessed two WMS-branded slots: Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
In 2012, WMS formed the subsidiary Williams Interactive to focus on their online gaming development. This would allow WMS to emphasize and streamline their real-money and freemium offerings on desktop, tablet and smartphone in the mobile first era.
Orrin Edidin, who became President and CEO of Williams Interactive at the time, said that the restructure would allow the creation of a “single organization to unify the company’s efforts in online wagering and interactive gaming distribution channels, while drawing upon our extensive existing library of great gaming content.”
In 2016, WMS was reorganized again and fully incorporated into Scientific Games. The WMS brand sits with other gaming legends Bally Technologies, and Barcrest as members of the Scientific Games family.
If you want to play such classic WMS pokies as Amazon Queen, Montezuma, Raging Rhino, Wizard of Oz or Ruby Slippers, then you’ll find plenty of casinos with their games.
You can win real money playing WMS pokies as long as you play the real money version. To increase your odds of winning it is advisable to play the demo version of the game first before playing the real money version.
We have compiled a list of online casinos in New Zealand that offer WMS pokie games. These casinos are licensed to operate and feature WMS’s most popular games.
There are a few games that stand out more than others among the numerous online pokies released by WMS over the years. These include Amazon Queen, Montezuma, Raging Rhino, Wizard of Oz and Ruby Slippers.