Are Progressive Online Slots Dying?

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Online slots players have been chasing big progressive jackpots for years. They love the idea of winning a life-changing sum of money on any spin.

Many people still play for online progressive jackpots these days. However, the size of progressive payouts is slowly dwindling.

Are jackpot slots slowly dying? I’ll answer this question by first covering a brief history of progressive online slots along with where they’re at today.

Progressive Slots Have Driven the Online Gaming Industry

Various types of slots have helped popularize internet gaming. However, the progressive variety has had a bigger impact on the industry than any other kind of game.

Gamblers have enjoyed pursuing big jackpots in land-based casinos ever since slot machines became popular. They’ve also experienced the same enjoyment at online casinos over the past two and a half decades.

Gaming sites began opening up in the mid-1990s. Of course, their jackpots weren’t nearly as big as the ones available today.

By the mid-2000s, though, some casinos began offering seven-figure jackpots on a regular basis. Mega Moolah, which launched in 2006, especially had a noticeable impact.

Developed by Microgaming, this African Wildlife-themed slot has been paying multimillion-dollar jackpots for years. It currently holds the world record for the biggest online slots jackpot at $21 million (Sept. 2018).

NetEnt’s Mega Fortune is another slot that has played a major role in increasing the popularity of online jackpots. Launched in 2009, this wealth-themed game has paid up to a $19 million dollar jackpot (Jan. 2013).

Other popular internet progressive slots include Arabian Nights, Hall of Gods, Jackpot Giant, and Joker Millions. These games have all paid multimillion-dollar prizes multiple times in their existence.

Not As Many Huge Progressive Jackpots Exist Today

Over a dozen online slots currently offer seven-figure jackpots. However, the progressive prizes available today aren’t quite as large as what they were in years past.

Mega Moolah continues to be an industry leader in offering giant payouts. Its “Mega Jackpot” currently offers the biggest prize at $10.4 million dollars.

But the popular jackpot slots of the past, including Mega Fortune, Arabian Nights, and Hall of Gods, don’t offer anywhere near the same payouts as they once did.

Mega Fortune’s jackpot is currently worth just over $900,000. This amount is a far cry from the aforementioned $19 million payout it paid the seven years ago.

NetEnt has actually replaced this game with Mega Fortune Dreams as its chief jackpot slot. Even Mega Fortune Dreams, though, doesn’t offer anywhere near the type of payouts that its predecessor did.

You can still win big money when playing online slots for real money. However, it’s clear that the gaming industry no longer relies on eye-popping payouts to draw gamblers.

Reasons Why Progressive Slots Are Less Popular These Days

The popularity of online slots has only increased within recent years. But progressive games aren’t the reason for this increase. Developers are actually putting less emphasis on these slots for the following reasons.

Megaways Slots Have Taken Off

Megaways slots currently rule the internet gaming industry. Developed by Big Time Gaming (BTG), the Megaways engine features a variable number of ways to win in each round.

Each reel can contain a different amount of symbols. BTG’s six-reel slots, for example, typically hold between two and seven symbols in each reel.

When these games are holding the maximum number of symbols in every reel, they offer up to 117,649 ways to win.

The variable number of winning possibilities combined with so many potential prizes has truly resonated with players. That said, Megaways games continue to remain a force in gambling.

Players Love Different Types of Game Models

Aside from Megaways games, players have taken to other unique types of slots models. Grid and infinity reels slots are also hits.

A grid slot features an equal number of reels and rows.

For Example:

An 8×8 grid slot will offer eight rows and eight reels.

These games don’t offer traditional pay lines. Instead, they pay in matching clusters that go horizontally, diagonal, and or vertically.

Infinity reels slots are true to their name, because they offer an unlimited amount of reels. They usually begin with three reels and either three or four rows (3×3 or 3×4 grid).

An extra real adds to the right every time that you form a new winning combination or extend an existing win. This process continues until you either fail to get a new win or your current payout stops growing.

Game developers have become more inventive nowadays. That said, you can likely expect other new types of slots to become popular in the future.

Features Rule the Day

Features are another aspect that game providers heavily focus on today. Most developers go beyond just free spins and wild symbols to deliver truly unique bonuses.

They don’t simply offer regular free slot games anymore. Instead, a game provider may include sticky wilds, win multipliers, cascading reels, and free spins.

Another example includes when a developer incorporates the game theme into a bonus. A dragon-themed slot may see a dragon spit fire onto the reels to deliver random wilds.

Long story short, most players are no longer happy with a huge progressive jackpot and bland bonuses. Instead, they want the newest and latest features.

Why Progressive Slots Won’t Completely Fade Away

Valid reasons exist for why progressive slot machines don’t carry the same weight in online gaming today. However, you shouldn’t expect them to completely disappear anytime soon due to the following points.

Some Big Jackpots Still Exist

Massive online progressive jackpots aren’t in as great of number, but they still exist to some extent. Below, you can see the biggest prizes available at the time of this writing:

  • Mega Moolah (Mega Jackpot) – $10.4 million
  • Shopping Spree (Bovada version) – $4.79 million
  • Joker Millions – $4.2 million
  • Jackpot Giant – $4.17 million
  • Aladdin’s Lamp – $4.05 million
  • Jackpot King – $3.76 million
  • Aztec’s Millions – $3.54 million
  • Funky Fruits – $2.54 million
  • Life of Brian – $2.33 million
  • Jackpot King – $2.27 million

The times when several online jackpots would be worth between $5 million and $10 million simultaneously are long gone. But progressive prizes are still relevant, though.

Certain Gamblers Will Always Love Chasing the Big One

While the majority currently likes Megaways and grid slots, they don’t speak for everybody. A certain subset of people still values jackpots above all.

Gamblers have always had a fascination with getting rich through a single spin. Jackpot slots are the only type of online casino game that provides life-changing money.

Most games don’t even make you to bet much to play. Mega Moolah only requires that you wager a minimum of $0.25 per spin.

Of course, you can always bet between $10 and $100 per round with any slot in hopes of winning big. But this strategy forces you to risk too much in a short amount of time.

Megaways & Other Slots Models Don’t Normally Offer Big Jackpots

You can certainly win nice prizes through Megaways and grid slots. However, you’re not going to hit a $10 million payout with one of these games.

These online slots have a lot going on at once. They’re designed to give you the chance to win many different payouts within a single spin.

But the average Megaways game offers a top payout worth around 10,000x your stake. Assuming you risk $1 per spin, for instance, you can only expect to earn a $10,000 jackpot.

Of course, such payouts add up when combined with other prizes. But Megaways and grid slots don’t offer life-changing money in a single round.


Progressive jackpot slot machines where once the main draw to online casinos. But they’ve lost some of their luster in recent times.

The typical gambler is no longer interested in spinning the reels countless times while dreaming of riches. They instead want more action and entertainment per dollar wagered.

Of course, the current trend by no means indicates that progressive online slots will die out anytime soon. A number of seven-figure jackpots still exist throughout the industry.

The only thing that’s changed is how progressive jackpots no longer drive the gaming world. Instead, gamblers now enjoy a variety of slots.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016. ...

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