Wagerworks is owned by IGT, but the two companies have become interchangeable in the minds of many online gambling enthusiasts. In addition to creating online slots, they release land-based content, mobile games, bingo, and much more. For those who’ve never heard of either company, this article should provide you with a basic idea of what they’re all about.
History of IGT & Wagerworks
IGT was founded in 1971, although it was known at the time as the A-1 Distributing Company. After making a sizable profit by dealing in electronic video poker machines, they changed their name to International Game Technology and started offering stock options to the public in 1981.
The decade following their debut was marked by substantial innovation within the industry. A player tracking system was first used in 1984, and this technology has become the cornerstone for the “slots clubs” present in most land-based casinos. They also released the Nevada Megabucks slot, a million-dollar game that holds the distinction as the first wide area progressive in history.
The 1990s saw massive growth for the company. In addition to being listed on the New York Stock Exchange, they opened offices for South Africa, Argentina, and the continent of Europe. 1996 was especially notable, as the company debuted the long-running Wheel of Fortune progressive slot.
While IGT continued to release new innovations and titles for the gambling industry, a software company named WagerWorks was formed in San Francisco by Silicon Gaming in 2000. Within a few years, the latter’s reputation for quality slots began to draw the attention of larger and more well-established entities.
Meanwhile, IGT expanded into Canada and began offering bingo products to Native American markets. They also purchased a number of companies, including Anchor Gaming, Acres Gaming, and Silicon Gaming (which also led to the acquisition of WagerWorks).
Since then, IGT has moved into a number of other global markets, including Mexico, China, and Japan. Their produced their two millionth slot machine in 2010, and the addition of WagerWorks has allowed them to enjoy even greater success in the online gambling market by providing content for industry leaders such as Paddy Power and William Hill. In 2014, this culminated in the $6.4 billion purchase of IGT by Italian company GTECH, a relocation to the United Kingdom, and the new official name International Game Technology PLC.
Which Games are Available?
Compared to the catalogue of some rival designers, the 80 or so games offered by WagerWorks sounds small. They make up for this number, however, by providing quality content, licensed slots, and one of the largest progressive jackpots.
Unfortunately, casinos using software from WagerWorks do not accept players from the United States. While some companies have returned thanks to legalized online gambling in states such as New Jersey and Las Vegas, a large number have avoided the American market completely following the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
If you’re looking for the WagerWorks games with the best return-to-player percentage, I suggest any of the following: don’t pass/don’t come in craps (99.66% RTP), banker bets in baccarat (98.98%), and blackjack (99.54%).
Video poker players who desire variety may be disappointed, as only three types of games are offered. There are, however, a number of offbeat or original titles such as Three Card Second Chance (created by the Wizard of Odds) and Three Reel Hold-up (the first skill-based slot machine).
All games from WagerWorks are Flash-based, which means they can be accessed from any computer browser. This is a departure from the old downloadable model, which tied customers to a single PC or Mac.
Jackpots from IGT
If you’re looking for a gaming company with a large number of jackpots, IGT and/or WagerWorks might not be the best fit. They only have a handful of progressives, although the Mega Jackpots option offers an average top prize of $1,516,209 every 22 weeks and 8 hours.
Top Licensed Slots from Wagerworks
While any major online casino developer is going to create the bulk of their slots from scratch, the public also demands a certain amount of licensed content. The latter occurs when a company pays creators for the limited use of an intellectual property, which is how we get all those slots based on movies and TV shows.
Like most game developers, IGT/Wagerworks has a sizable amount of licensed content. Almost all of these games fall into the slot machine category, and I’ve included a few examples for your convenience.
- Wheel of Fortune
- The $25,000 Pyramid
- The Price Is Right
As you probably noticed from the above list, Wagerworks likes to concentrate on TV game shows when it comes to licensed content. Other examples of this include Family Feud, Let’s Make a Deal, Sale of the Century, The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game, The $100,000 Pyramid, The Joker’s Wild, and the $1,000,000 Pyramid. This has proven to be a wise strategy, as people of all ages are familiar with these franchises from decades of new content and reruns.
Over 40 years after its formation, IGT continues to be a powerhouse in the world of gaming. Their tireless acquisition of smaller designers such as WagerWorks has given them a diverse pool of both employees and games, and they currently deal in most major markets across the planet.
They’ve provided players with some of the most iconic titles in the business, and their dedication to fairness and quality continues to serve them well. Their only real drawbacks include a smaller-than-average catalogue of games and a limited number of progressive jackpots.