The company is based in Nevada and it designs game cabinets for the Las Vegas market, but at the same time it turns those titles into online titles as well, so everyone has a chance to play them from the comfort of their own home. This is a major company, so their titles are as safe to play as any others, being even audited by TST when it comes to their RNG. As for the gaming license which they adhere to, that one comes from the Gaming Commission of Alderney.
The company that we know today as WMS has started out under the name Williams Electronics, in 1974. Before that, there was another company, founded by Harry E. Williams, which was called Williams Manufacturing Company, and which has been around since 1943. The roots of WMS are based in the one that was formed in 1974 though. The company started developing arcade games which were coin operated, and they launched a clone of Pong first, which was called Paddle Ball. Other games that were created by them back then included popular titles like Robotron: 2084 and Defender. Williams Electronics was incorporated under another company in 1974, and then it became independent in 1980. The name changed to WMS Industries in 1987. They bought one of their competitors, called Bally, in 1988, and then sold it back in 1998 along with their video game content. They started creating slot machines with spinning reels in 1994.
Once WMS entered the casino market, they started creating more imaginative slot machines, so they didn’t rely as much on cards, horseshoes, fruits and bells, among others that were often used at the time as symbols. They started using trademarked themes, with their first branded slots being based on video games that they created in the past, such as Smash TV, Defender or Stargate. The Monopoly series was another one that was popular, along with Star Trek, Top Gun and many others that were branded and which helped them grow quickly.
Eventually, WMS was sold for $1.5 billion, and the company became a subsidiary for Scientific Games. These days, WMS is one of the Scientific Games brands, along with others like Shuffle Master, Bally or SG.
WMS Casino Games
The games that you’re going to see at an online casino that offers WMS content are usually based on actual game cabinets that were initially designed for the land-based casinos. As such, I’m not usually excited when I see the graphics of their slot machines, but the features and the rest of the content in them is solid. They also have a number of table games that one can play, covering all the major categories that players would want to access, from roulette, to casino poker variants, blackjack or baccarat. Specialty titles and video poker variants aren’t missing from their collection either.
One of the innovations made by WMS is something called a Sitewide Progressive. Rather than using a progressive jackpot that is available only in a couple of games, and which gets funds from all casinos that use it, the sidewide progressive is offered in all WMS games that are played at a single casino. A casino’s players will all have access to the WMS progressive jackpot, no matter what game from that developer they play. The downside is that the value of the jackpot tends to be smaller, but at least there is a lot more variety when it comes to the themes and features that you can enjoy along the way.
The branded content is also a solid component of the offer that WMS has. They actually made a name for themselves with this type of content, being one of the first to turn slot machines into exciting games that mimicked TV series, board games, movies or video games that were popular at the time. Whether you’re playing Monopoly, Star Trek, Bruce Lee, KISS or other branded games, their collection holds plenty of such slot machines.
For the most part, I think that you will not be as impressed with the graphics in the WMS slot machines, as you would be with the ones coming from developers that focus on the online market only. They’re not as modern, but they’re perfectly playable nonetheless. Among my favorites here, I’d mention Nemo’s Voyage, since it’s one of the few that doesn’t have poker icons or card suits among the symbols.
The features tend to be better on average, than the graphics are. To mention again Nemo’s Voyage, the game offers Wild Reels, Clumped Wilds, Pressurized Wilds and Multiplier Wilds, though not all at the same time. Move on to a game like KISS or Fire Queen, and you get two sets of reels, one of them massive the other regular sized. Free spins, scatters, bonus games and other more unique features are present in their slots.
The downside, when you’re using a lot of cool features in games, is that you can’t afford to pay huge jackpots anymore. The games that I’ve seen from WMS tend to have top payouts in the range of $1,000 to $2,000, with some of them getting multipliers as well.