Winning a life-changing jackpot is easily the most exciting thing that can happen to any online casino player. Progressive jackpots are particularly appetizing as they grow each time someone places a bet, with their prizes going into the six or seven-figure realm in some cases.
Imagine the disappointment a player would feel if they land an unexpected windfall only to learn they cannot withdraw the jackpot amount in full due to the casino’s maximum cashout policies. As outraging as they sound, such issues are not unheard of.
In this article, we walk you through the specifics of progressive jackpots and explain who pays them. We also cover the impact of maximum cashout policies on the payment process and give you hints on how to avoid potential issues in this regard. But first, let’s get back to basics and have a look at the main types of progressive jackpots and how they accumulate.
Fixed vs. Progressive Jackpots
Most online slots and casino games offer fixed jackpots where there is a ceiling on the maximum amount players can win at any given time. With slots, this fixed amount can be expressed either as a cash value in the corresponding currency (eg. $50,000, £50,000) or in coins (50,000 coins).
In the second case, the base coin denomination the player has selected determines the cash value of the fixed jackpot in case of a win.
If you land a fixed jackpot of 50,000 coins with a base coin value of 0.10, you will essentially collect 5,000 units in your local currency, be it dollar, euro, or pound.
Respectively, if you play at higher stakes with a base credit denomination of 5.00, your win would increase to 250,000 in the corresponding currency.
This is not the case with progressive jackpots where a small percentage of each bet goes toward the jackpot pool which continues to grow until somebody eventually wins.
The pool is then reset to a base amount called a seed and starts accumulating all over again. The four main types of progressive jackpots include:
Types of progressive jackpots
Wide-area progressive jackpots are shared across a network of multiple casinos that offer games by the same software provider. All networked casinos feed into the jackpot pool, allowing the prizes to escalate to six or seven-digit amounts, sometimes even more.
Local progressive jackpots are similar but accumulate across several games, more often slots, linked in a network within a single online casino.
Standalone progressive jackpots offer more modest prizes since only bets made on a single online slot or casino game contribute to the jackpot pool. While not life-changing, the prizes are still worthwhile as they grow to four or five-figure amounts.
Boiling-point jackpots typically drop when the progressive prize shoots up to a specific predetermined amount. The Super Jackpot from the recently launched Hot Drop Jackpot series belongs to this category as it must trigger before it reaches $250,000.
Time-based progressive jackpots must trigger within a designated timeframe, usually once per hour or before the end of the day. Good examples include Red Tiger’s Hourly and Daily Must Drop Jackpots where the average prizes range from three to five-figure amounts.
Who Pays Progressive Jackpot Wins
It is a common misconception that online gambling operators pay out progressive jackpot wins themselves but this is not necessarily the case.
Software providers normally supply the seed amount and then pull out bets from all gambling sites linked to the wide-area progressive network for the growing jackpot pool.
The straightforward example below can give you an idea of how this works.
Software supplier X provides a progressive slot game to five gambling operators.
The progressive pool starts seeding at $100,000.
The 1st operator feeds $45,500 into the pool from players’ bets made on the slot.
The 2nd operator feeds $15,000 into the jackpot pool.
Bets made with the 3rd operator contribute $25,100 to the jackpot pool.
Bets at the 4th casino have a pool contribution of $10,500.
Finally, the 5th casino contributes $6,500 to the pool.
The jackpot has progressed to a total of $202,600 and a lucky player at casino #2 triggers it.
Now, the question is who pays the amount of $202,600 to the winning player when multiple casinos feed funds into the pool?
Software supplier X will first pull the entire jackpot amount from all associated sites in the network and either pay the winner directly or use casino #2 as an intermediary in the payment process.
This is the best course of action from the perspective of winning players because the software provider will pay the jackpot amount, no matter how large it is, in a single installment without any annoying delays.
In the second scenario, the software supplier seeding the jackpot delegates the payment duties to the gambling site where the jackpot has hit. This does not necessarily result in delays and complications, though.
Software industry greats like Playtech and Microgaming transfer the full jackpot amount to the management of the online casino where the windfall has occurred. What happens from there sometimes depends on the withdrawal policies of individual operators.
Maximum Cashout Policies at Online Casinos
All gambling operators impose restrictions on the maximum amounts players can withdraw from their cash balance within any given day, week, or month.
The exact limits vary from one casino to the next and can be affected by a variety of factors, including the payment solution you use and your status in the operator’s loyalty program.
Some casinos allow players to cash out as much as $50,000 per month, while others restrict the monthly withdrawals to $10,000 or $15,000 only. Such restrictions are imposed for two major reasons.
1Fraud and Money Laundering Prevention
Fraud and money laundering prevention is the primary objective of maximum withdrawal limits. Money launderers process large deposits for the purpose of obscuring the origin of their illegal funds and then attempt to withdraw the money in a single batch. Verification procedures and maximum withdrawal restrictions aim to thwart fraudsters who engage in such illicit practices.
2Withdrawal Limits Also Aim to Prevent Liquidity Shortages
Processing a six or seven-figure payout in a single batch can drive smaller gambling businesses into insolvency, even more so if several players win big at the same time. Online casinos prevent this from happening by spreading larger payments across several successive weeks or months. This enables them to maintain a healthy balance sheet.
Where to Find Information on Maximum Withdrawal Policies
One of the first things you should do before you proceed to register at a given online casino is to carefully read its terms and conditions. The T&C page contains information on withdrawal timeframes, minimum and maximum limits, and the potential fees associated with pulling out funds from your real-money balance.
Also, this is where you can read about the operator’s policies with respect to progressive jackpot payments. Fair and highly regulated casinos normally lift their monthly cashout limits for progressive wins, allowing players to receive the jackpot amounts in full.
Unfortunately, some operators are not as scrupulous and intentionally weave predatory clauses into their terms and conditions to put players at a disadvantage. Such gambling businesses commonly refuse to waive the withdrawal restrictions for progressive jackpot winners.
Their terms and conditions would state something among these lines – ‘The monthly withdrawal limits apply to progressive jackpot wins’ or ‘Progressive jackpot wins are not exempt from the monthly withdrawal limits’. One such predatory clause can result in a number of complications that we discuss further in the paragraphs to follow.
Complications Resulting from Maximum Cashout Restrictions
Players typically receive their progressive wins in weekly or monthly installments at casinos where maximum cashout restrictions remain in place for jackpots. These policies can lead to various complications, especially in cases of more sizable wins.
To end the article on a positive note, prospective winners can spare themselves from going through these unnecessary hassles by playing progressive games at casinos that award the jackpot amounts in one go and exempt jackpot wins from their monthly cashout restrictions.
Information on this subject is readily available in black and white on the operators’ terms and conditions page. Another viable solution is to go for games linked to local or standalone jackpots. The prizes are smaller and can easily fit into the monthly withdrawal limits of your favorite online casino.