The world of casinos has witnessed a remarkable transformation in recent years, largely owing to the proliferation of progressive jackpots. These enticing attractions have added a new layer of excitement to the gaming landscape, making it imperative for both seasoned professionals and enthusiastic players to understand the intricacies behind these ever-popular jackpots. In this extensive exploration, we will embark on a journey through time, delving into the origins, motivations, and financial dynamics that underpin the world of progressive jackpots, as they are found in casinos and gaming halls today.
The origins of Progressives
Our voyage begins in the early 20th century when the first mechanical slot machines made their debut. These pioneering contraptions were equipped with a unique feature: a reservoir where coins would accumulate. It was a pivotal innovation because, for the first time, these machines promised a substantial payout when the rarest symbols, often represented as the jackpot 7-7-7, lined up in a row on the pay table. This marked the birth of what we now know as the progressive jackpot.
What set these early mechanical marvels apart was the inclusion of a progressive jackpot, which was a game-changer in the world of gambling. Players quickly gravitated towards these new machines, attracted by the allure of an additional prize, and other slots found themselves in the shadow of this groundbreaking invention. It's worth noting that these early progressive jackpots were tightly woven into the fabric of the slot machine itself, integral to the mechanism and its payout structure.
The evolution of Progressives
As the years rolled on and technology continued its inexorable advance, the casino industry evolved in lockstep. In the 1980s, a trailblazing moment arrived when the Australian company Aristocrat introduced one of the earliest linked progressive jackpots. This innovative system featured a visible jackpot meter displayed on electronic screens. The pivotal difference from their mechanical predecessors was that these new jackpots were no longer hardcoded into the hardware of individual machines.
In the wake of this milestone, several American companies surged forward with the development of digital displays, effectively cementing progressive jackpots as a permanent fixture on every casino floor. These systems proved remarkably adaptable, allowing for easy adjustments tailored to visitor preferences, specific timeframes, or the number of machines in operation. This newfound versatility was transformative. A progressive jackpot, as the name suggests, grows incrementally with a percentage of each wager made and is paid out when the highest combination, the jackpot, is achieved on one of the interconnected slot machines. A prime example of this concept is the Megabucks jackpot, which unites over 800 slot machines across various states in the United States.
The Mystery of Mystery Jackpots
Mystery jackpots are a breed apart from their progressive counterparts, owing to their distinctive manner of awarding prizes. They don't hinge on the alignment of a winning combination on a single slot machine; instead, they operate based on a predetermined value or time limit. Mystery jackpots reward players for their participation, enhancing the overall gaming experience.
How It Works
The mechanism behind a Mystery Jackpot involves linking a set number of slot machines to a dedicated "mystery jackpot controller." This controller is programmed to select a random number within a specified range, usually defined by a starting value and an ending value. The mystery jackpot starts at the initial value and increments with each player's wager and game played. The player who aligns the mystery jackpot value with the random number within the specified range wins the prize.
An Illustrative Example
Let's consider an example: Suppose you want to give away a €40 bottle of champagne on a bank of 10 connected slot machines. Your goal is to invest no more than 1% of the typical daily earnings. The casino operates for 12 hours, and, on average, each slot machine sees €1,500 played daily at a €1 denomination. The mystery jackpot is configured to start at 0 and reach a maximum of 80. Over the long term, the prize is expected to fall around €40 because the mystery jackpot controller selects a random number between 0 and 80, averaging at 40. The ten slot machines collectively witness 15,000 wagers each day. After every game played, 1 cent (1% of €1) is added to the mystery jackpot, resulting in an increase of €150 over the course of a day. In theory, the mystery jackpot is expected to be claimed three times in a day, and three lucky players will be treated to a bottle of champagne. The frequency of wins can be easily adjusted to suit different preferences and goals.
Why Implement a Mystery Jackpot?
Implementing a mystery jackpot is a wise choice for several reasons, as it has been demonstrated to:
- Increase player engagement.
- Enhance the overall gaming experience.
- Offer players wins without requiring a winning combination.
- Allow easy adjustment of prize values and win frequencies.
It's an opportunity to surprise your players with a mystery jackpot that can be won on a specific day or even an automobile prize that can be won regardless of where one plays within the casino.
But what about the cost, you might wonder? At first glance, it might appear as an additional expense, but the financial perspective tells a different story. Implementing a mystery jackpot typically results in an increase in revenue, averaging between 2% to 8%, depending on the prize and how the jackpot is promoted. Additionally, showcasing a mystery jackpot, with its sounds and visual elements, is vital for attracting other players as it demonstrates that winning is indeed possible in the casino. Players seek not only a fun night out but also the chance to secure significant or frequent prizes. The thrill of winning within the casino environment is a crucial factor that can't be overlooked.
Where Can You Implement Mystery Jackpots?
Mystery jackpots can be seamlessly integrated with all types of slot machines, regardless of their type or denomination. When mixing denominations, you should consider setting the mystery jackpot to the lowest denomination as the unit. For instance, if you have machines with various denominations, such as cents, 50 cents, and 1 euro, the mystery jackpot would be configured to work in cents. A player wagering a 1 euro coin would then have 100 chances to hit the mystery jackpot. This approach effectively rewards your most dedicated players, as those who place larger bets have a greater chance of winning.
Making Prizes Shine and Resonate
By connecting mystery jackpots to lights and sounds within your casino, prizes will no longer go unnoticed when awarded. A range of possibilities exists to draw attention to won prizes, including diverse sound effects, light displays, and even automated announcements through the intercom system. Ensuring that prizes are noticed and celebrated is crucial for enhancing the overall player experience.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
To embark on your journey with mystery jackpots, you'll require an approved jackpot controller and interfaces for the slot machines to be connected. Some newer machines can be directly connected, while others may require interfaces. Additionally, you may wish to display the current status of the mystery jackpot on a screen or a casino sign. We're here to assist you and help shape your mystery jackpot program to meet your unique needs.
Bonus Box: A Game-Changer
Bonus box, developed by Gaming Support, introduce an exciting dimension to awarding prizes. Each slot machine is equipped with a Bonus Box, a cylindrical device that houses a prize. These Bonus Boxes operate on the mystery principle. Popular prizes such as phones and tablets can be easily placed inside the Bonus Box, and the concept requires no further explanation. Once the mystery jackpot is won, the glass door of the Bonus Box opens, and the player can claim their prize. It's a simple and effective system. Bonus boxes have been shown to increase revenue by 20% to 35% and elevate the overall player experience.
Keeping Players Engaged
To keep your players engaged, reach out to one of our account managers. We are more than willing to collaborate with you and your team to devise a plan that brings the thrill back to your casino and keeps your players satisfied. The experience of winning in the casino is of paramount importance, and we're here to help you make it unforgettable.