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Best of John Grochowski

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The Casino Answer Man

2 January 2001

Q. Why don't the Illinois boats have progressive slot jackpots like they do in Las Vegas or Tunica, Mississippi? We just came back from Harrah's in Tunica -- it was just outstanding. There were nine five-cent Wheel of Fortune slot machines that were tied into all other five-cent Wheel of Fortune machines in Mississippi. The progressive jackpot was $489,000. Can we do this in Illinois?

Skip S.

A. Progressive slots that link jackpots in several casinos are known in the casino industry as "wide-area progressives." Usually, the machines are owned by the manufacturer, who pays the host casinos a percentage of coins played in order to have the games on the floors. Big winners are not paid by the casino, they're paid by the manufacturer or distributor.

Such systems are not legal in Illinois and Indiana. Gaming officials are keen to avoid the appearance of casinos being partners on a game rather than competitors. One former Illinois gaming official also once told me that the jackpot frequency on such games was so low that it was simply a trap for the unwary, dreaming of lottery-like riches with no real chance of keeping their money or winning the jackpot.

Linked progressives are legal in Illinois and Indiana as long as the entire system is in one casino. That leads to lower jackpots than on the wide-area systems, but single-casino progressives also pay off more often.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
The Video Poker Answer Book by John Grochowski
Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

The Craps Answer Book

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski