Aristocrat Casino Sites on Aspire Global
Aristocrat is a major force in the international gaming business. Originally based in Australia, it is now a worldwide operation, with a total of more than 6,000 employees on the books. The company operates in close to a hundred different countries and is active in both the real world and online gaming industries.
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Whilst its headquarters remains in North Ryde, a suburb of the major Australian city of Sydney, it also operates major offices across the United States, the United Kingdom and India. Aristocrat employs over a thousand staff in India, and has large development offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, plus others in the states of Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. All these centres employ hundreds of people. Further satellite offices are based even further afield, including bases in Argentina, Canada, and Mexico in the Americas; across the EU and Ukraine in Europe; in Russia and Macau in Asia and in The Philippines, Singapore and New Zealand across the Oceania region.
Despite its global reach, the company is proud of its original Aussie culture, a characteristic its current CEO Trevor Croker is keen to retain. The board of the company contains a mix of both Australian and American influences.
The Story Behind Aristocrat
Aristocrat can count themselves as veterans when compared to most of their rivals within the gaming industry. The company was founded back in 1953 – more than a generation before most of today’s big names were even thought of. Computer technology barely existed in the 1950s. The most powerful computers were the size of a small house, yet contained less processing power than your grandad’s Nokia 3310 mobile. Programming was most likely provided via punched tape.
It is therefore no surprise that the company built its early reputation designing and manufacturing old school mechanical fruit machines. These were frequently of the type found today on the UK’s seaside amusement arcades. These are operated by pulling a lever to the side of the machine – hence the nickname ‘one armed bandit’.
The 1960s saw the company expand from its Australian heartlands into the European and American markets, reaching the world’s gambling capital Las Vegas in 1961 with its innovative ‘Aristocrat Nevada’ machine. The 1970s saw the industry undergo a radical development as machines moved away from the old style mechanical construction toward the use of electronics. ‘Wild West’ became the company’s first all-electronic game, released in 1979.
The 1980s saw the introduction of the kind of real computer technology which we would recognise today being introduced into the gaming industry for the first time. This decade also saw the opening of Aristocrat’s London office, forming a base in the United Kingdom for the first time. The 1990s saw further expansion, with the company going public in 1996, with its launch on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
Throughout the first fifty years of its existence, Aristocrat remained firmly focused on real world gaming. When it comes to the online sector of the industry, the company was comparatively late to the party. It was not until 2013 that it made its first tentative moves at diversification, when it acquired the London based mobile and online gaming company Product Madness.
Since then, the company has become a top provider of software for online gaming, supplying casinos with dozens of excellent online slots and other games. This has been achieved via its own games designers, the rapid expansion of its Product Madness team, plus further acquisitions. These include Plarium Global (2017) and Big Fish (2018).
Today, the latest figures demonstrate just how far the company has come from that small Sydney start-up to what is now a major international conglomerate. In 2019, the last full year for which figures are available at the time of writing, Aristocrat posted worldwide revenues of almost $4.5 billion (Australian dollars (AUD)). This represented an increase of around 23% over the previous year. Profit after tax reached a record high of just short of $900 million AUD. The company’s share price on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) generally hovers around the $30 AUD mark.
Aristocrat have dozens of different slot titles in their locker, and are best described as a ‘middle tier’ software provider – well below the big hitters of the industry, such as NetEnt and Microgaming. They are however, a massive organisation, so cannot in any way be regarded as a small or start-up operation.
Their own in-house titles include some well-known, popular games. Big Red is perhaps one of the most famous. A proud reminder of the company’s homeland, this evocative kangaroo themed game has a retro feel to it which will make many exiled Aussies even more homesick for the wilderness of the Outback.
Aristocrat’s other best-known games include titles like Queen of the Nile, Big Ben and Buffalo. The company’s favourite genre is surely Chinese Luck, as their portfolio is festooned with Asian themed games. These include the likes of 50 Dragons, Double Happiness, Dragon Emperor and Lucky 88.
Although around 40% of the company’s revenues are generated by digital and online gaming, Aristocrat remain a land based casino outfit at heart, and the company’s design teams remain focused on real world cabinet machines. Many of their best games remain unavailable online, yet to be digitised for online casino use.
As a result, their own-branded online slots tend to be fairly conventional and tend toward the classic or retro end of the market. For true innovation and a more contemporary design ethic, it is their acquired brands like Product Madness and Big Fish which provide the inspiration and innovation. These subsidiaries are the parts of the Aristocrat group which produce the more cutting edge slots. Their contemporary graphics and special features are more competitive in today’s crowded and demanding marketplace than Aristocrat’s own comparatively dated designs.
There is no doubt that Aristocrat deserves its ranking as a behemoth of the international gaming industry. Its focus though, remains on the land based casino market rather than online. Its bought-in, wholly owned brands like Big Fish and Product Madness are well worth following for more contemporary and cutting edge games. Keep an eye out for all Aristocrat group releases on your chosen Aspire Global casino.