The idea of having a progressive jackpot which stretches out across borders is not a new thing. We all know about Mega Moolah, the famous online progressive game which you can play anywhere in the world, and which has paid out to a diverse number of countries with players seeing huge results and winning big. Now, the Nevada Gaming Commission has awarded approval to Bally Technologies and International Game Technology to allow them to link their progressive jackpot machines in land based casinos across multiple states, meaning that for the first time the land based casinos not owned by tribal interests will be able to get in on the action with huge jackpot potential.
This means that the gaming companies, who are two of the biggest providers of new slot machine games in the US, will be able to offer life changing sums of cash to their players, the likes of which are normally seen on interstate lotteries. A wider pool of slot machines all linked to the same network will all be paying in their bets to the prize pool and making it rise higher and faster, which can only be a good thing where the players are concerned. The more you play, the bigger the jackpot gets, and the better your chances of winning become! The Gaming Commission’s ruling means that links can cross state lines in order to broaden that pool, which may mean that participating jurisdictions would include California, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, as well as some native American reservations which would opt to join the network. This is a big step forward, as previously the progressive jackpot links on games such as Megabucks or Blazing 7 were limited to IGT’s statewide progressive network in Nevada, and could go no further than that within legal bounds.
One of the interesting parts of the agreement which will surely have results to keep an eye on in the future is the decision regarding tax. The taxation of prizes from slot and keno jackpots as well as the collection of fees will all be done in accordance with the existing system in the state, which means that the taxes due on progressive winnings will always be collected by the jurisdiction in which the jackpot was paid out. This means that if the majority of the progressive jackpot was raised in Nevada, but the jackpot pays in California, it is the state of California which will tax the winnings, not Nevada. It also means that the operators running the games will all have to pay fees for their machines in the states where they are based, rather than having one set of fees for the machines in Nevada and then having the others pay to Nevada as well in order to join the jackpot. This may well mean more tax revenue overall for each of the states which takes part, as there is sure to be renewed interest in progressive slot machine games now.