International Game Technology (IGT) is a massive online and land-based gaming company that operates in over 100 countries and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). IGT holds more than 450 global gambling licenses and employs 12,000 employees across the world.
The company maintains a 70% U.S. market share thanks to good relations with casino operators, but its position on the global market doesn’t look as strong as in the noughties due to the growing prominence of SG Gaming.
The modern incarnation of IGT was created as a result of two mergers involving three major gambling companies – Lottomatica, Gtech, and IGT. The first fusion happened in 2006, when Lottomatica acquired Gtech and assumed its name. The second merger happened in 2015, when the new Gtech purchased IGT, once again adopting the name of the new acquisition.
The best IGT slot games
|Cleopatra||95.2%||20||5||Ancient Egypt, Historical|
|Triple Diamond||95.06%||9||3||Retro, Vintage|
|Double Diamond||95.04%||1||3||Vintage, Classic|
|Treasures Of Troy||95.03%||40||5||Ancient Greece|
|Kitty Glitter||94.92%||30||5||Cat, Fantasy|
|The Secrets of the Forest||94.9%||99||5||Magical Forest|
|Da Vinci Diamonds||94.4%||20||5||Fine art, History|
|Golden Goddess||93.5% – 96%||40||5||Fantasy, Greek|
|Pixies of the Forest||93.00% – 94.90%||99||5||Magic, Fantasy|
|Wild Wolf||92.99% – 94.97%||50||9||Wolves, Mystical|
|Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania 2||92.84% – 96.52%||40||5||Nautical, Animals|
|Family Guy||92.50% – 96.05%||30||5||Cartoon, Humor|
|Coyote Moon||92.50% – 94.80%||40||5||Desert, Coyote|
|Siberian Storm||92.5% – 96%||720-way system||5||Arctic, Animals|
|Wheel of Fortune on Tour||92.5% – 95.6%||30||5||Gameshow, Driving|
|Ghostbusters||92.5% – 94.2%||30||5||Movie tie-in, Spooky|
|Wolf Run||92.5% – 94.98%||40||5||Wild, Wolf|
|Balloonies||92.4% – 96.23%||20||5||Cartoon, Fantasy|
|Triple Red Hot 777||92.01% – 96.13%||5||3||Retro|
|Stinkin’ Rich||92% – 96%||100||5||Cartoon|
|Black Widow||91.99% – 96%||40||5||Wealth, Thrill|
|Texas Tea||87.5% – 96.2%||9||5||Oil, Cartoon|
IGT slots can be grouped into three categories. The first can be described as retro slots that get updated from time to time and include games like Cleopatra, Treasures of Troy, Da Vinci Diamonds, and Wolf Run, as well as their new iterations, such as Cleopatra PLUS, Megajackpots Wolf Run, or Da Vinci Diamonds Masterworks.
The second consists of branded games like Star Trek, House of Cards, Family Guy, Monopoly, Jeopardy, or $100,000 Pyramid. IGT’s strong position in the market gives it plenty of reach when it comes to obtaining new licenses, but it doesn’t have a monopoly on games of this kind.
The last category consists of modern video slots with cutting-edge graphics and crisp sound effects to attract players. Examples of such games include Apollo Rising, Pixies of the Forest 2, and Wishwood.
IGT slots: game spotlights
IGT slots dominate casino floors these days thanks to their smooth, fast-paced gameplay and frequent payouts, which provide players with a strong incentive to keep clicking the spin button.
Here’s an overview of three iconic IGT video slots that continue to attract plenty of attention in online casinos in 2019:
- Cleopatra – five reels, 20 paylines. Released in 2012, Cleopatra is considered to be the definitive Ancient Egypt-themed slot, and every new game that follows this style is inevitably compared with this release. It’s an old-school game that features wilds and a free spins round with a 3x multiplier, which is triggered whenever three or more scatter symbols appear on the reels. It was followed by Megajackpots Cleopatra and Cleopatra Plus.
- Wheel of Fortune on Tour – five reels, 30 paylines. Wheel of Fortune on Tour is a modernized version of the legendary 1996 slot game that continues to be played in land-based casinos to this day. This game features IGT’s popular level-up mechanic. Players can unlock six bonus wheel rounds by hunting for scatter symbols; once the bar is fully charged, they can spin the wheel by landing a single scatter on the reels.
- Double Diamond – three reels, single payline. This classic slot with bars, cherries, and sevens is still very popular among gamblers due to its simplicity and decent 95.44% return-to-player (RTP). It doesn’t have any special features, but it does have a wild double-diamond symbol, which can substitute for any other symbol to form a winning combination. It was followed by Triple Double Diamond, which features updated graphics, a three-by-three reel setup, and a “Hot Roulette” bonus round.
Special slots features
Even though IGT’s grasp on the market doesn’t look as strong as it was ten years ago, it’s still the industry leader when it comes to slot design. Consequently, IGT slots are more about cementing existing trends than about experimentation.
For example, IGT played an important part in making stacked wilds a common feature in modern slots. Its popular Wolf Run slot is built around this mechanic. In this game, stacks of wild symbols can appear on all five reels, so every basic spin can result in a huge payout.
Even though IGT spends well over $300 million a year on research and development (R&D) efforts, the only trendy feature that can be considered somewhat unique to IGT slots is the level-up-plus mechanic, which allows players to unlock new bonus rounds by playing the game and filling the progress bar.
Online slots and land-based machines
Land-based IGT slots get re-released as internet games by IGT’s PlayDigital division and are offered to online casinos as a part of the PlayCasino suite. These ports typically don’t have all the original content, as HTML5-based internet games need to be fairly compact to be compatible with slower internet connections.
For example, the digital version of Cleopatra doesn’t play the same sound effects as the physical cabinet, so it has a different, somewhat subdued feel.
When it comes to visuals, PlayDigital isn’t in the habit of altering symbols or reel designs, but they do simplify complex animations. If a player pauses an online IGT slot next to its land-based counterpart, it might be hard to spot any significant differences; however, the contrast does become apparent as soon as both games are in motion.
Fortunately, such changes don’t affect gameplay in any negative way, so online-only players still get to experience all the features and bonus rounds of the brick-and-mortar casino games.
Select games and payback percentages
IGT slots tend to give the house a 5% to 7% edge, which means the return on each spin will be slightly lower than in the case of Bally or WMS machines. The variance ranges from low to medium, so most games will be fairly consistent during prolonged play sessions.
Some RTP examples:
- Da Vinci Diamonds – 94.93% RTP
- Cats – 94% RTP
- Siberian Storm – 94.26% RTP
- Ghostbusters – 93.5% RTP
- Pixies of the Forest – 93.95% RTP
- Texas Tea – 97.35% RTP
- Treasures of Troy – 93.56% RTP
- Coyote Moon – 93.75% RTP
- Family Guy – 94.275% RTP
- Wolf Run – 94.98% RTP
|Top slot||Wheel of Fortune|
|Special slot feature||Level Up Plus|
|Parent company||De Agostini|
As mentioned, IGT’s history is a tale of three different companies – Lottomatica, Gtech, and IGT. These companies merged over the years, creating the gambling-industry giant of today. The first merger happened in 2006 when Lottomatica purchased Gtech and adopted its name. In 2015, this new incarnation of Gtech acquired IGT and kept its name for the parent company.
This isn’t a common practice in the gambling world. In most cases, the parent company retains its name, even when it doesn’t kill off the established brand. A good example of such a merger would be the acquisition of Bally Technologies by Scientific Games (SG). Bally was completely integrated into the SG corporate structure, but the company keeps releasing new slots under the Bally brand.
In IGT’s case, the Gtech brand disappeared from the market following the 2015 merger. However, the company didn’t terminate the Lottomatica brand, due to its popularity in Europe.
Founded in 1990, Lottomatica was the dominant force on the Italian gambling market. The company operated local lottery games (Gioco del Lotto), instant win games, video lotteries, bingo, poker, casino games, and arcade games. It also offered legal sports betting services.
The company was issued an internet gambling license in 2007, which allowed it to operate on the fenced Italian iGaming market. This license was retained following the 2015 merger, and the current iteration of IGT continues to offer all the aforementioned services on the Italian market under the Lottomatica brand.
Gtech was established in 1980 in Rhode Island in the United States. Initially, the company was supposed to serve the American lottery market, and it managed to sign important contracts for lottery services in California and New York.
Over the years, Gtech expanded its offerings to cover other forms of gambling and began producing slot machines for land-based casinos and iGaming sites. The company also opened new offices across the world, eventually establishing a presence in over 100 countries, which is maintained to this day.
IGT was initially known as A-1 Supply and was founded in Nevada in 1975. Its contemporary name was adopted when the company went public in 1981, following the success of its first major video poker product.
Throughout the 1980s, IGT outcompeted Bally for dominance over the American slot manufacturing market, thanks to its focus on enjoyable gameplay and satisfying payout frequency.
In those early years, IGT debuted several new technologies and casino standards, including wide-area progressive jackpots, S-Slots, frequent player programs, and the EZ Pay casino payment system. In 2000, IGT released its millionth slot machine, and in 2010 it reached two million produced units. The same year, IGT acquired two iGaming companies, WagerWorks and Double Down Interactive, and entered the internet gambling industry.
As of February 2018, the top five owners of International Game Technology PLC include Point 72 Asset Management LP (3.89% stake), PAR Capital Management Inc. (3.66%), Bloomberg Sen Inc. (3.14%), Oppenheimer Funds, Inc. (3.09%), and Marshall Wace North America LP (2.79%). It is controlled with an absolute majority stake by De Agostini S.p.A.
IGT management team and corporate structure
IGT retained a lot of the corporate structure and business practices of pre-2015 Gtech. It’s headquartered in London, United Kingdom, but its production division is based in Reno, Nevada. It also has operating offices in Las Vegas, Nevada; Providence, Rhode Island; and Rome, Italy.
The company puts a lot of emphasis on social and economic responsibility. It established a separate department for diversity and inclusion in 2017.
IGT management team
- Marco Sala (Chief Executive Officer, International Game Technology PLC)
- Renato Ascoli (Chief Executive Officer, North America)
- Walter Bugno (Chief Executive Officer, International)
- Fabio Cairoli (Chief Executive Officer, Italy)
- Fabio Celadon (Senior Vice President, Gaming Portfolio)
- Mario Di Loreto (Executive Vice President of People and Transformation)
- Alberto Fornaro (Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer)
- Scott Gunn (Senior Vice President of Corporate Public Affairs)
- Wendy Montgomery (Senior Vice President of Global Brand, Marketing, and Communications)
- Robert Vincent (Executive Vice President for Administrative Services and External Relations)