Shares of gaming leader and slot machine maker International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) were hit on Wednesday after posting earnings that missed estimates. However, while estimates missed the mark, investors may want to look forward to some industry tailwinds that could help boost future earnings.

For its fiscal fourth quarter, IGT earned $19.9 million, which was good for $0.07 a share on revenues of $496 million. Over the same time period last year, the company reported a net loss of $28.6 million, or $0.10 a share, though its revenue of $512 million was higher.

IGT's revenue has been hit hard by the slowdown in Las Vegas that has prevented large casino operators from increasing spending on new gaming machines and facilities build out. 2009 saw capital expenditures at MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) fall by 82%, and at Las Vegas Sands' (NYSE: LVS) capital expenditures fell by 45%.

However, if Las Vegas Sands' most recent quarterly report is any indication, global gaming trends could drive IGT's growth going forward. The company reported record revenue of $1.9 billion, which was good for a nearly 67% gain over last year's revenue. Most impressive is the company's growth overseas, especially in Singapore. The casino operator's Singapore casino, the Marina Bay Sands, delivered an EBITDA higher than any Las Vegas Sands' casino has ever produced.

International operations only contribute 23% percent to IGT's revenue, so if this global growth continues, IGT can expect to see a huge sales pop as casino building continues abroad.

In addition, domestically many states have relaxed laws on gaming and slot machines to boost their economies after the recession. For example, in the recent Maryland elections, slot machines won approval at one of the state's largest shopping malls, where local developers plan on opening a large gambling facility on the grounds. If these new gaming centers prove successful, other states could follow suit, increasing demand for IGT's products.

While IGT's quarter certainly was not great, investors would be wise to look past the recent results and into the tremendous growth opportunities available to the company in the future.

Andrew Bond owns no shares in the companies listed. The Fool owns shares of International Game Technology. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Fool has a disclosure policy.