As is the case with most companies that have been around for as long as the casino industry in the United States has existed, the years have come with a whole host of changes. If you want to truly trace Bally’s history back to the very beginning, you will have to go back to the pre-World War II days, more specifically, 1932. At this point in time, Bally was known as Bally Manufacturing and was actually a subsidiary of a larger company, Lions Manufacturing.
During this era, Lions—and by extension, Bally—was known for their exciting and innovative pinball games. Their games quickly rose through the ranks of arcade game popularity, and before you could bat an eye Bally Manufacturing was the go-to pinball producer. Around the same time that their pinball games were doing extremely well, Bally Manufacturing ventured into the casino business and began producing slot games. Though their slots were nowhere near as popular as their arcade games, the Bally brand, as a whole, continued to grow. Shortly thereafter, the outbreak of World War II saw Bally change their focus to the war effort. For a period of time, Bally stopped producing pinball and slot games altogether. By the end of the war, however, business had picked back up where it left off.
The company enjoyed success for the next decade or so, but following the death of Bally founder, Ray Maloney, in 1958, the company began to suffer and bleed money. Left to Maloney’s two sons, Bally’s performance suffered and eventually the company ceased to exist entirely. While this looks to be heading towards a sad ending, the assets of Bally Manufacturing were purchased by a colleague of the late Maloney and slot games were back on the production lines.
A breakthrough game that was released during the early 1960s is what really helped propel Bally to the peak of the casino gaming industry. In fact, by the end of the 1960s, almost all of the slot games that existed across the large state of Nevada were produced by Bally; a testament to how much people loved their games.
The success of the 60s bled into the 70s and 80s, at which point things got even better. Once Bally made the intelligent move into the video casino game space, there really was no looking back. By tying in casino games with popular video games of the time, Bally took a stranglehold on both the slot and video gaming categories. Slowly, Bally went from being a regional powerhouse to one that was known the world over.
In 2006, Bally was a much larger company with many different divisions, and the slot-making arm of the company was rebranded as Bally Technologies. To this day, that is the name of the company, though we aren’t discounting any future changes to the company name.