Last week, slot machine manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT) announced that its new multistate Wide Area Progressive (WAP) jackpot link would be deployed at Caesars and Boyd gaming properties.
The Powerbucks system links progressive jackpots in multiple states. The system is being rolled out in New Jersey and Nevada to start, with other “approved jurisdictions” to be added. Players from the member states contribute to and can win the progressive jackpot.
Like in online poker, progressive slots benefit from larger pools—“life-changing” wins are powerful marketing tools, be they progressive jackpots or large multi-table tournaments. Both benefit from from cross-border liquidity.
However, the new IGT progressive is not a signal for cross-border sharing of online poker liquidity.
“[The multistate progressive jackpot] is dissimilar to online poker liquidity in that players are not actively playing against each other in one game,” Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman, A.G. Burnett told pokerfuse.
Like online poker tournaments, “the prize grows based upon collective play and is eventually won by one participant in one of the linked member states.”
However, Burnett stated, “this notion does not allow for game data crossing state lines, only incremental jackpot amounts are shared.“
Player pooling is still coming to US states—but compacts need to be formed. Nevada has entered into an agreement with Delaware to allow players from each state to participate in cross-border online gaming. It is not yet clear when this will take place—or by whom, as no online poker room operates in both states.
New Jersey is watching closely, and will form a compact this year according to its lead online gaming consultant.