You are no doubt already aware of the online slot machine games which are linked across the world, such as the incredible progressive jackpot Mega Moolah which reaches huge jackpot amounts as a result of the fact that players can raise it from anywhere around the world. Now it looks as though land-based slot machines with progressive jackpots might start to go in the same direction, as the possibility has been raised of linking jackpot networks across different states rather than keeping them within the same state borders as is currently the case.
The gambling company International Game Technology has expressed an interest in linking a network between South Dakota and New Jersey using their progressive slot machine games, focusing in particular on Atlantic City and Deadwood. Progressive slot machines allow players to contribute to the overall potential jackpot payout every time that they play the game, even when they win, until at last the jackpot will be one by one lucky player who manages to take home the lot. In order for the linking to take place, there will need to be some changes – as Deadwood casinos will need to see their rules changed by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming. This rule change will allow them to participate in progressive networks with other jurisdictions, as they are currently restricted only to connecting with one another. The commission is set to hold a public hearing in Deadwood about the potential change, but it is expected that it will be passed and that a new rule will be agreed on. We can already see some progressive networks that reach across state lines, as tribal casinos operate under their own rules and therefore are able to link their jurisdictions already, but this would be the first time that it has been done by private owned casinos run by corporations instead.
The network approach to breast of slot machine games is similar to that which is used through multistate lottery ticket games such as Powerball. If the gaming commission agrees and the rules review committee gives final clearance, then the rule change will be set to take effect in early January, with multistate progressives in operation as early as February – though certain representatives of IGT have suggested that it may take a little longer than that, depending on publications which arise. Casinos in both Atlantic City and Deadwood are excited about the prospect of linking their jackpot, as they believe that it will generate more play and excitement, at least at first while the jackpots are new and innovative idea. More people playing will also probably mean more jackpot winners, and that will help to build enthusiasm for the games. Jackpots in Deadwood are not currently specifically tracked, but they are held a reported to regulators for business tax purposes, because the amounts are apportioned amongst the participating casinos. This will mean that careful thought is needed as to how the state crossing jackpots will be taxed in each individual casino.