The ghost of the progressive jackpot rises again

News on 8 Mar 2018

The perrennial question of whether an online casino operator should pay out progressive jackpots in full and without delay rose again this week with the news that the Bwin online casino has added the following clause to its T&Cs:

You agree that the maximum amount that You may withdraw is twenty thousand US Dollars ($20,000) (or the equivalent amount in EUR or GBP currency) every 30 business days. All amounts larger than twenty thousand US Dollars ($20,000) will be paid every 30 business days until the full withdrawal amount is reached. This condition also applies to winnings of progressive jackpots.”

Progressive jackpots – especially mutli-million Euro hits – are exeptional events but do occur for some players.

In the past that has led to either relief and happiness as is the case with providers like Microgaming which provides a full payment on demand, or stress and frustation when a player falls into the hands of more penny-pinching outfits who try to negotiate faster payments of smaller amounts, or insert the sort of clause attributed to Bwin above in order to string out the payments for 20 years or more….players point out that many things can befall an operator over that sort of timescale, placing their winnings at risk.

The generally understood operating format behind progressives is that they are accumulated across a provider’s network by less fortunate players. What irks players is that they view these funds as generated by their action in anticipation of the opportunity to score big sometime, and that the cash therefore is held by the progressive network provider and does not belong to the individual casino operator where the jackpot is awarded.

The general belief is that the network provider pays the jackpots in full to the operator, which then unilaterally decides how to handle the largesse.

Surprisingly, the network providers in many cases appear to be at peace with this status quo, raising questions as to what happens to the interest on delayed payments, or those amounts paid short by agreement with a desperate player.

Operators tend to brush off these complaints, but the practice remains on players’ lists of concerns regarding online gambling, and the apparent injustice of how some operators are handling what should be a happy and life-changing experience.

Players’ hopes were revived to some extent recently by the news that the UK Competitions and Market Authority is concerned at unjustified and unreasonable obstacles placed in the path of timeous player pay-outs, but whether that will evolve to the progressives jackpots sector is debateable.

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