It’s 8pm and Dana is watching the figures increase on her computer screen. She normally enjoys a game of bingo, but tonight it’s raining out, so she decides to try her hand online. Seated with her cup of tea, the graphics and colors dance in front of her. Some of the games have progressive jackpots. She doesn’t know exactly what that entails, so she clicks on something more familiar instead. So, what exactly has she passed up?
A progressive jackpot is a bonus prize offered on a casino game in addition to its biggest prize. As the word progressive would suggest; a progressive jackpot increases gradually. The prize grows as more players play the progressive machine. However, there are conditions attached to being able to win a progressive. In the case of slots and video poker, you are required to bet the maximum amount of coins in order to qualify to win the progressive. Other progressives require an additional wager of $1.00.
The concept of online progressive jackpots is similar to land based progressive jackpots, where casinos are networked to fund a big-prize jackpot that grows with every wager placed by the gamblers at participating casinos. If you are playing a progressive machine, and win the grand prize, you also win the progressive prize. Therefore, if a progressive machine has a starting value of $100,000, as soon as the machine is played the progressive jackpot gets bigger. After the prize is won, the progressive jackpot starts at $100,000 again.
Microgaming pioneered the first online progressive in 1998. Jackpot Mania, the second largest player in online progressives, quickly followed suit. In May 2001, a cross-casino portal was launched, powered by Cryptologic, that connects popular brand names and land based gaming organizations.
The biggest payout thus far was to an American gambler, identified as TonyP, who won $1.6 million on the Jackpot Madness Major Millions progressive. He was flown to Monte Carlo and Australia as part of the prize. TonyP hit the jackpot on Captain Cooks Casino on May 30th, 2002.
“Progressive jackpots on the Internet are not what they used to be,” Derek Wilson of Jackpot Mania told RGTonline. “Today, literally, players can log on day-or-night and change their life. And statistically speaking, your odds are much better than playing the lottery. Jackpot Mania has players that have won jackpots over 100 times in two years.”
Marilyn Glazier of Jackpot Madness, the world’s largest online progressive network of 65 casinos, powered by Microgaming, further supported this sentiment “Currently, our network casinos pay out about $3,000,000 a month on progressive games and jackpots are won 2-3 times a day,” Glazier said. “So far, $74,000,000 has been awarded to 2,500 winners.”
“From a player perspective it’s simple: are you going to play a game that offers a $5,000 top prize or a $5,000 top prize and a $100,000 jackpot?” Derek Wilson of Jackpot mania put it succinctly.
Attractive for both consumers and businesses
Progressive jackpots are attractive for both businesses and consumers. They benefit all casinos especially smaller ones, who get to offer a bigger jackpot than they might have been able to on their own. Because progressive jackpots are found in several locations, it greatly increases the jackpot sizes available to be won, and does it in a much shorter time than could be otherwise possible.
Brian Cullingworth, an online gambling consultant, explains “The progressives took off very quickly and are highly popular with both gamblers and casinos; the latter find them a very useful client-attraction vehicle and showcase the mounting jackpot, and the publicity from very large wins is a useful marketing tool through the medium of press releases.”
“Despite being pretty much dominated by Microgaming’s Jackpot Madness 11 progressive games, the field is regarded as competitive and there is little if any liaison between the different companies offering progressives.” Cullingworth said.
According to Togel Online Madness, winners frequently become repeat visitors and win again, so the popularity extends beyond first-time players and casual surfers. A strong base of repeat visitors has apparently created a thriving community of players who rely on their site for not just prizes but also as a source for news and information. The prize money won by repeat winners has already reached 24% of the total.
Progressive fever occurs when the jackpots get large, and often a jackpot gets hit shortly after a big win due to the publicity generated by it.
“When ‘bobo’ won US$ 414,119.22 on Spice Island Poker at The Sands of the Caribbean Online Casino last year, the jackpot had been growing for some time. Sure enough another player ‘stash’ won US$111,820.80 three days later at InterCasino,” Derek Wilson of Jackpot Mania cited as an example.
The Jackpot Madness website showed on September 13th 2002, 2 jackpots were won on Treasure Nile: first for $120,852 and later in the day, $40,455. On Major Millions, one winner won $ 394,658.30 on June 27th, and just a few days later, it hit again for $ 282,126.20.
“Several times we’ve had two or even three US$100k winners in a few days. Just because a jackpot was hit on Tuesday, don’t be afraid to play it on Wednesday. There is simply no way of knowing when they will go off.” Wilson of Jackpot Mania said.
September onwards is traditionally the busy season in online gaming; so expect some progressive jackpot fever to brew out there in cyberspace.