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Scientific Games

This American software giant is one of NetEnt’s rivals in the global online gaming software industry. Whilst NetEnt is, without doubt, the market leader, there is plenty of room in the industry for fellow games creators, and Scientific Games are a worthy competitor in the field.

In fact, if age was a factor in industry success, then this venerable company would be out of sight as the oldest outfit around. This vintage corporation can trace its family roots as far back as the 1940s. Of course, online gaming was not around in the war years, but Williams Manufacturing Company certainly was. It was responsible for the design of pinball machines during this era and evolved into WMS Industries, one of Scientific Games’ subsidiary companies.

As pinball gradually faded in popularity, the company diversified into slot machines and computer games. And this is where Scientific Games comes in. This company too has a considerable vintage by industry standards, having been founded in Las Vegas in 1973.

Originally, it was focused on lottery operations, before moving onto real-world slot machines. As computer technology developed, the company diversified further into computer-based gaming, such as interactive terminals and, as the internet evolved, server-based gaming. Over the years, it has steadily diversified further into the online gaming market, both by developing its own games and by a regular programme of acquisitions.

One of the biggest moves here came in 2013, when Scientific Games acquired WMS Industries, hence forming the historical links outlined above. Further takeovers in subsequent years mean that many familiar brands in the online gaming world are in fact wholly owned by Scientific Games. In addition to WMS Industries, these include big names like Bally Technologies and Barcrest. The current family of names which operate under the Scientific Games umbrella was completed late in 2017 when the NYX Gaming Group was acquired. This deal cost the parent company a cool $630 million.

Today, Scientific Games is one of the leviathans in the gaming industry, with close to 10,000 employees worldwide. Its headquarters remain in Las Vegas, but it has offices on six continents across the world, including two in the United Kingdom. It operates via four separate divisions: Gaming, Lottery, Digital and Social. NetEnt is a direct competitor only in the digital arena, where Scientific Games and its many subsidiary companies also design excellent slots and other online casino games.

So it is clear that in terms of company size, Scientific Games is a giant in the gambling industry, both in land-based casino gaming and online. In terms of turnover, number of employees and sheer scale, comparing Scientific Games to NetEnt is like comparing a blue whale with a goldfish.

However, when it comes to the niche industry of designing excellent online games like slots and table games, NetEnt is the unrivalled industry leader. Sometimes, it pays to be a big fish in a small pool, as NetEnt can ably demonstrate!

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