The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Bally India:Hitting a Jackpot in Gaming Technology

Jaya Smitha Menon
Monday, September 3, 2007
Jaya Smitha Menon
On their first trip to Las Vegas, this family of four from Bangalore is bowled over by the mind boggling expanse of the casino. They have seen nothing like this ever before! None of them have realized it yet, but they have been inside this casino-resort for over eight hours now. And, none of them seem to be even thinking about leaving anytime soon! This is the magic of Vegas that completely engulfs each one of the surging humanity making a beeline to this desert town on vacations. The youngest among them is the wide-eyed girl, all of 13 years. She still can’t get over the enchanting live magic show they saw yesterday evening. She is now in a kid’s game arcade playing her favorite ones. The young man of 17 is not yet allowed to try his hand on the sea of slot machines or any of the table games where hundreds of people are wagering their bets. He stands in the entry to the kid’s arcade keeping an eye on his sister, and at the same time keenly watching his parents try their luck on what is obviously one of the most popular games on the floor. He can see the game is called Hot Shot Progressive. His dad told him earlier that it is a game developed and manufactured by Bally Technologies, the premier game maker. He watches his dad swipe his card in the unit and start to play – press the touch screen, fix the bet amount, number of lines to bet and then with a flourish click a button on the panel. The wheel starts spinning and he watches with amusement as his parents pump their fist and hug. They are obviously winning! A multitude of people from all over the world, ranging from obviously well to do American couples in the slot machines to Chinese youngsters in groups on the tables throng the floor. The young man – a grade 12 student – starts wondering what it takes to develop these games that seem to hold so much power over these players. And, his mind starts spinning!

On the other side of the planet, one would be equally fascinated by the India office of Bally Technologies. The environs are so much similar to any of the other thriving development centers that populate the Bangalore skyline. Concentric circles of workstations with state-of-the-art equipment, engineers banging away on the keyboard, some discussing something seemingly important in a group. But something about here is so obviously different. Is it the energy? Or the looks on their faces? There is clearly something extra, something special about the environment here.

To think it all started with a small wooden pinball machine named the Ballyhoo! When Ray Moloney founded Bally Manufacturing Company in Chicago back in 1932, he could not possibly have imagined the company that built the ‘Bally Baby’, a tiny cast-iron slot machine filled with mechanical gears, springs and levers would someday evolve into one of the gaming industry’s technological giants. As Swapna Nair who works with the HR department explains the history of the company with a 75 year heritage, she says “Ray Moloney could not have imagined the company he started would become the world’s No. 1 Gaming Systems Company with more than 366,590 machines using Bally systems technology. Or that research and development spending at Bally would reach over 50 million dollars per year!”

For an industry that is alive with excitement round the clock there is a need to continuously innovate and also evaluate the trends and pattern to hook the players on to the casino. With the changing times when technology progressed in an unprecedented manner Bally also took to the task of changing the way games were operated, managed, and played. From technological milestones such as the first slot machine featuring a “bottomless hopper” and the first fully electronic reel-spinning slot to the world’s first electronic slot management system, Bally Technologies continues this path of innovation with a number of new reel-spinning, video-slot and systems products. For example, the Hot Shot ProgressiveTM, features five of Bally’s most popular reel-spinning titles embedded in the reels of this dramatic new game. What makes Hot Shot Progressive a unique breakthrough is the way the game presents secondary bonus options to the player. When a player enters the bonus round, he or she actually ‘plays’ mini-versions of the full-sized originals of other popular Bally games for a theoretical chance to win up to five progressive jackpots on the same game.

Bally Technologies, India started its operations in Oct 2005 in Chennai and subsequently opened its Bangalore center in January 2007. In the uncluttered and fun filled environs of its two centers, over 400 engineers are putting together creativity and skill-sets to develop games as well as designing and developing software based solutions.

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