For those who follow the iGaming industry, there have been some significant shifts over the last decade. The optimisation for mobile gaming was important, of course, as the online casino industry was quick to recognise that entertainment would soon move to smartphones; the rise of live dealer casino, which brings real games to your device is also massive, and will likely bear more fruit as we see more developments in VR, MR and AR. Yet, perhaps the most significant development is the growth in progressive jackpot networks. It is, in fact, a simple concept, but one that has revolutionised the industry from top to bottom.
If you aren’t aware of what we mean by progressive jackpots and jackpot networks, here is some description; A progressive jackpot is a prize that is constantly growing. It starts off with a seed fund, usually a large amount itself, and then it grows by taking a small amount of each wager on the game, usually around 1% of each bet. The prize will continue to grow until it reaches a predetermined threshold, during which one player is randomly awarded the prize. A jackpot network is a collection of games which run on this same premise.
Economies of Scale is Key Factor
As you can imagine, it will take time to build these prizes. If, say, the average bet was 20p per game, then each spin would only be adding 0.2p to the jackpot if the contribution amount was 1%. So, a million spins would build the jackpot by £20K. That sounds like a lot but the top prizes in these games can reach millions. You can see some of the UK’s best examples of these games here. Can you see how games like Mega Moolah and Gladiator have multi-million-pound prizes? How is this achieved?
Simple: By connecting the games through a network.
The secret here is that each individual casino will not pay the jackpot. Instead, the jackpot fund is managed by the software developers who have created the game. So, in the case of Mega Moolah, it would be Microgaming, whereas Playtech would manage the jackpot for its game, Gladiator. The point is that these games can appear in different countries, in different casinos, and every spin is adding to that prize. Because, as we mentioned, the prizes pay at a predetermined payout amount (unknown to the casinos), it means that the jackpots can be awarded more frequently, albeit there is a larger pool of players who could win.
Bigger Prizes Than Ever Before
The other upshot is that the software developers have decided to harness this power of connectivity, which is essentially the use of economies of scale theory, to offer bigger jackpots than ever before. Several times in the last few years we have seen the big developers like NetEnt, Microgaming and Playtech payout prizes of £10 million plus. It’s almost as if the developers are trying to compete with national lotteries.
In the end, the great attraction for players is the randomness of it all. If, for example, you want to win big in blackjack, you have to play high roller tables. Yet, these games award their jackpots randomly, so even the minimum bet of a few pence gives you a chance. We should add, however, that bigger bets are more likely to be awarded the prize because they are more likely to break the threshold mentioned earlier. Still, even casual players have jumped on board, because they know even a small bet can bequeath a life-changing sum of money.