In Australia there are three major players in the slot machine industry. These are Aristocrat, IGT and Ainsworth. Aristocrat is the most predominant but IGT and Ainsworth do have quite a few games in pubs, clubs and and casinos.
In the early 1990's there were several other brands such as Universal and Jubilee but these games have all but disappeared.
The Major Players
Founded in 1953 Aristocrat had perfect timing as pokies were legalized in New South Wales just 3 years later. The first machine to roll off the production lines was the Clubman which was followed by the Clubmaster a few years later.
In 1984 Aristocrat changed the face of gambling in Australia with the release of the first of what would become the modern day pokie. Today, their name is synonymous with pokies and their game library includes greats like Queen of the Nile, More Chilli and 5 Dragons.
While IGT was operating as a private company as far back as the 1950's it was in 1981 when International Game Technology went public and made a major move into the slot machine industry.
They are the number one game maker in the United States and are making inroads into the Australian market with great games such as Cleopatra and Major Money.
Ainsworth Game Technology (www.ainsworth.com.au)
Founded by "Pokie King" Len Ainsworth in 1995 after leaving Aristocrat, Ainsworth Gaming has quickly become one of the top three game makers in Australia and is rapidly expanding around the world.
One of the trademarks of the Ainsworth games are their multi-level progressive jackpots with the Double Shot, Triple Shot and Quad Shot games being some of their most popular titles.
Other Game Makers
While the three listed above are the biggest and most prominent there are some other companies that have either been big in the past or are just started to make an impact. These companies are;
Once one of the top three, Konami pokies are now found less frequently. They entered the Aussie market in 1996 with popular games like Money in the Bank and Incan Pyramid.
Star Games / Shufflemaster / Bally
Three big names in the gaming machine industry have merged into on with Bally now being a big US slot machine maker looking to make inroads into the Australian market. Top games include Kelly's Fortune and Wold Mountain.
Founded by Harry Williams in 1943, WMS Gaming's pokies are now available in Australia. They even have a game development office in Sydney. Some of their top games are Zeus, Li'l Red and Jungle Wild.
Aruze Gaming have been in the Australian pokie market since 1989. Their games are not as commonly found as they once were although the new G-Series and G-Deluxe games might signal a comeback.
Online Pokie Software Companies
The companies above are the biggest in terms of offline pokies but they are not the big names when it comes to online games. See our Online Casino Software Companies article to find out about the companies that are the major players in online pokies software.