The story of WMS is an interesting tale of a company with a long history in electronics and game design and a short but very important role in the development of slot machines.
Starting in the 1990s, WMS Gaming developed games that would push the limits of contemporary slots. With a focus on exciting visuals and interactive bonuses, the company found new ways to make slot machines fun.
While they may now be a part of the Scientific Games family, the company is still a vital player with a great selection of games.
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All WMS Slot Games
Where to Play WMS Slot Machines
Unfortunately, some players may find it difficult to find some of WMS’ games at land-based casinos. Their feature-rich and big machines don’t always have a place in every casino.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents may not always be able to find a wide selection of WMS games at their favorite casino. Although, most casinos should still have a few of their popular licensed games along with some of their more compact machines.
Anyone planning a visit can either contact the casino to ask about availability or see whether they have a slot finder or active slot machine list on the location’s website.
Players willing to play online or through mobile devices may have more luck. While some of the more extravagant machines have not yet been adapted, many fun and exciting older games are available for real money play where it’s legal.
New Jersey residents should be able to find a good selection of WMS games in legal online casinos and apps for land-based casinos.
Pennsylvania residents don’t currently have much of a selection, but it should grow soon as more online operators open.
Best WMS Slot Machine Games
The following set of slot machines should let you see the bonus features and designs that make WMS special.
Reel ‘Em In: Big Bass Bucks – Try out an updated version of the machine that started it all. This 5-reel, 20-line slot machine is themed around a relaxing afternoon at the old fishing hole. The game shines with its fun bonus features. Players who trigger one of three fishing themed bonus rounds get to pick an angler, choose a spot to fish and then watch the casts play out to see what cash prizes await. A great slot machine with an engaging bonus round.
Jackpot Party: Ultimate Party Spin – This is another great update to a classic title. This is a 5-reel slot machine with 30 paylines that has variants for both 60s and 70s party themes. The bonus game is a fun twist on a standard pick bonus game. Players get to rapidly pop balloons that appear on the screen for small credit prizes, and the game only stops when they hit a “party pooper” balloon. Players can win up to 3 spins on the big bonus wheel, depending on how many balloons they pop before hitting an unlucky one. The bonus wheel includes more credit bonus prizes as well as 2 progressive jackpots, along with second-tier bonuses that stack to give players extra spins or enhanced spins.
The Flintstones: Welcome to Bedrock – This is one of WMS’ great licensed titles that captures all the fun of The Flintstones. The main game uses 5 reels and 25 lines, but it’s absolutely stuffed with bonus features accompanied by scenes from the cartoon. Any spin can trigger a Yabba-Dabba-Doo feature that can randomly add wilds, add a multiplier, stretch the reels, double the reels or possibly even do a little bit of everything. There’s also a bonus wheel where players can win extra credits, free spins or a free play of the At The Races minigame. This lets players choose between different bets with different odds and payouts with the result displayed as a simulated dino race. Impatient players can also pay to go to the races at any time. Certain casinos may even activate a progressive jackpot feature.
Raging Rhinos Megaways – This is another update to an old fan favorite. This version of Raging Rhinos adds the Megaways feature to make it a 6-reel machine with potentially 117,649 ways to win across the large reels and extra top row. Each spin includes a cascading reels feature to potentially let the winning spins stack. The free spins bonus round is very loaded. Players lucky enough to trigger the bonus will see free spins with wild multipliers and an enhanced cascade feature that adds a general multiplier to the free spin round for every successful cascade.
James Bond: Casino Royale – Another exciting licensed title from WMS. This James Bond-themed slot machine uses the sights and sounds from the modern Casino Royale movie to spice up the game. This 5-reel, 25-line machine includes deep bonus games that give players a shot at winning big credit bonuses or a progressive jackpot. The chip pick bonus game lets players try to find upgraded chips to unlock bigger prizes and literal shots at bonus and jackpot playing cards. The casino bonus uses a card picking game that gives players a chance to unlock special bonus reel arrays along with big multipliers. For fans of other Bond movies, WMS has a few other similar machines themed around Thunderball and Live and Let Die.
Progressive Jackpots and Innovations
Despite only being in the slot machine game for a few decades, WMS has done a lot to push the envelope and make slot machines more interesting.
Their long history of designing great pinball machines and video games proved to be vital for their slot machine development.
Starting with Reel ‘Em In, WMS has created machines that put entertainment first to let players have a good time while they were trying to hit it big.
Their focus on bonus games and impressive designs is clear even today. Aside from interactive bonus games and features with impressive graphics,
WMS has also tweaked its slot machine game designs to better suit different players. They offer “boosted” reels with fewer rows on the left side to make wins less frequent but much richer, but WMS also offers the Megaways designs to give players ways to stack up lots of small, frequent wins.
In general, their focus has been on providing slots that are easy to play with the right mix of big wins and frequent, smaller bonuses to please any player.
The only downside is that this philosophy means that progressive jackpots are a little rarer in WMS games. Elusive big wins don’t fit quite as easily into their games.
They haven’t completely forgotten about progressive jackpots though, especially in their more recent games developed in cooperation with Scientific Games.
Many of their eye-catching banked machines, such as Jackpot Party: Ultimate Party Spin or the new Invaders Attack From the Planet Moolah, do offer two progressive jackpots along with their general credit prizes.
The more recently developed Bond slot machines also include them.
WMS Slots on Mobile Devices
Players looking to enjoy WMS slot machines on iOS and Android are in luck.
Scientific Games generally pushes its subsidiaries to adapt and develop for the online and mobile markets, but WMS was already a leader in the field before the buyout.
WMS has been adapting and perfecting its online slot machines through the WMS Interactive brand using the social gaming site Jackpot Party alongside contracts with legal online casinos across the world.
Many of their games are ready to play on mobile devices. Interested players can find free-to-play versions through apps such as the Jackpot Party app or Scientific Games’ Gold Fish Casino app. Their crisp graphics generally transfer well to smartphone screens. The only exception is their few machines that feature colossal reels, which are probably best left for desktop and tablet play.
Players in states and countries with legal online slots can find real money versions through apps from land-based casinos and regulated online casinos.
Top 3 WMS Mobile Slots
These mobile slots feature fast-paced spins with nice clear designs that translate well to mobile devices.
Elvis: The King Lives – This rock ‘n roll themed slot machine uses a unique layout to give players boosted reels. The game technically features 11 reels and up to 80 paylines. The design uses 8 individual reels to make up two mini 2×2 reels on the left side of the game. The 3 tall reels on the right complete the set. This boosted reels setup typically makes it a little harder to start a line but makes any winning line multiply into dozens of wins. The free spin bonus game is also rewarding. Players get a bonus jukebox spin for extra free spins or credits, and every free spin is enhanced with giant symbols filling the two leftmost reels to make winning just a little easier.
The Cheshire Cat – A topsy-turvy-themed slot machine with a beautifully clear interface that makes each win easy to see. It is a 5-reel slot machine with 40 paylines in play. The twist on the free spin bonus game is what really makes the game interesting. Before the free spins begin, players get a separate spin with the Cheshire Cat to determine whether any bonus arrays are in play and what reels are set as wild for the duration of the free spin round. It’s a great twist on an otherwise fast and simple slot machine.
Frozen Inferno – This magic-themed slot machine puts a very cool (or hot) spin on a typical slots session. The 5-reel, 40-line slot machine switches between inferno and frozen modes in a little gameplay cycle. Wilds lock into place in the frozen mode and roam freely around the reels during the inferno mode. As the spins continue, players slowly add more locked or roaming wilds to the reels until they hit the cap of 5 and trigger a free spin bonus round. The round guarantees 5 wins and slowly flips the game to the opposite mode. It’s a wonderful twist for anyone looking to settle in for a decent set of spins.
The Early Days of Williams Interactive
WMS technically began as an electronics manufacturing firm in 1943. Harry Williams founded the creatively named Williams Manufacturing Company in Chicago, Illinois.
At first, the company provided a variety of simple electronics, including re-designed pinball games, fortune teller machines and other novelties. In 1946, the company designed its first wholly original pinball game, Suspense, which would prove to be the first step to several decades of success in the pinball market.
The company made a name for itself thanks to innovations such as mechanical scoring reels and tilt mechanisms, and it generally thrived through the golden age of pinball across the 1950s and 1960s.
The only big shakeup in this time would be a buyout in 1964 by the Seeburg Corporation, a major jukebox manufacturer.
In 1972, Williams would make a major change to its business with a step into the newly emerging arcade video game market.
While its first entry was merely a derivative of Pong called Paddle-Ball, it wouldn’t be long before the newly formed division known as Williams Electronics would be an industry leader. They would manage to make a big splash with hits like Defender and Joust and enjoyed a successful run throughout the 1980s.
In 1988, they bought Midway from their future slots competitor Bally. While they would eventually sell it in 1998, their 10 years of ownership included the release of legendary games such as NBA Jam and the start of the Mortal Kombat series.
The Move to Slot Machines
The 1970s and 1980s were generally a prosperous time for Williams. Their parent company Seeburg declared bankruptcy in 1980, but Williams was successfully sold to a private investor who put the company on the road to going public.
When the company went public in 1987, they shortened their name down to the now iconic WMS Industries. The company was soon faced with a new challenge though.
As the arcade craze faded away, their pinball and video game divisions struggled.
While WMS would continue to produce pinball and arcade games until near the end of the 1990s, including hits like the Addams Family pinball machine, management knew that they would need to transition into a new industry.
WMS Gaming was officially formed in 1991 to start distributing video lottery machines. The subsidiary pivoted to the distribution of slot machines in 1994 to take advantage of the growing market of Native American casinos that were opening nationwide.
They wouldn’t really cement their place in the slots market until 1996 with the release of Reel ‘Em In. Taking full advantage of their experience making entertaining video games, the game included an animated second screen bonus game that let players pick a fisherman to try and catch a bonus.
This was a revolutionary development for the American market. WMS would continue to produce interactive machines with great graphics including hits like Filthy Rich and Jackpot Party.
The company would build upon this success throughout the 1990s and 2000s by making licensed slot machines.
Their focus on eye-catching games worked well with these well-known themes and the company released dozens of popular slot machines based around major properties, such as Monopoly, Star Trek and the Wizard of Oz.
These hits kept the profits flowing, and put WMS in a good position to target the new online slots market in the 2010s.
In 2012, the company bought Jadestone Group AB and Phantom EFX to add to its online gaming development under the newly formed Williams Interactive name.
WMS had one last major change ahead of it though.
In 2013, Scientific Games acquired WMS in a $1.5 billion buyout. This would put the WMS slot machine catalog under the SG umbrella, along with its former competitors Bally and Barcrest.
The company is far from gone though. WMS still exists as a thriving division of Scientific Games and continues to produce the same engaging styles of slot machines that made them famous.