Online slots award some of the biggest jackpots that the gambling world has ever seen. While slot machines in land-based gambling venues are quite generous, progressive slots in the online casino market make players into multimillionaires on a regular basis. This is thanks to the sheer number of players in the online gambling market and the vastness of online progressive slots networks.
In the online casino world, there are three types of jackpot networks, the most common of which is the wide-area progressive network. This type of jackpot network links the prize pool of a particular game across a number of online casino websites. So, hundreds of players at dozens of online casinos contribute to the prize pool, ensuring that the prizes climb very quickly.
At land-based casinos, this type of jackpot network is quite rare. Technology limitations restrict operators from linking jackpot pools unless the game slot machines are physically connected via a ‘game bank’. However, in recent years, companies like International Game Technology have invented technological solutions that allow land-based operators to link games on a wide-area basis. Currently, there are only a few of these networks, including IGT’s ‘MegaJackpots’ network.
The number of players in the online casino world also contributes to the fact that jackpots are much larger at gambling websites. Multiple players can wager on the same game at once, driving up the jackpot prize pool to lucrative levels. In the land-based casino world, only one player can sit at a game at any point in time, so jackpots climb quite slowly in comparison to online slots jackpots.
The biggest jackpot networks in the online casino world belong to Microgaming and PlayTech. Microgaming’s progressive jackpot network has been around since the turn of the century, so the company has had over a decade to add new games and expand its prize pools. Over the years, Microgaming slot machines have paid out over $400 million in progressive jackpot prizes. The company’s most generous game is Mega Moolah, which offers up prizes worth more than $5 million on a regular basis.
The WinAJackpot network from PlayTech has not been around for as long as Microgaming’s network, but it has been very generous for the duration of its existence. The network was established in 2003 and has paid out over $126 million in winnings over the course of the decade. The biggest jackpot ever awarded by PlayTech was worth an impressive $7.5 million from the game Beach Life.