For several decades, progressive jackpots have remained a huge part of gaming in North America, Europe, South America and Oceania. The idea behind these jackpots is to have a network of shared pots which increases with each player’s bet that doesn’t return a win. Casinos that offer these jackpots typically join a game supplier’s network. As a result, every bet on a progressive game adds to the overall prize pool in the network.
In essence, most of such jackpots usually have huge prizes, which sometimes run into millions of dollars. Whenever there’s a win, the prize pool resets and the pool starts rising back again. Why these jackpots have turned players into millionaires overnight, they ultimately increase the overall relevance of operators in the industry.
Thanks to the jackpots, operators continue to deepen their grip on the casino and bingo markets whilst gaining favourable competitive market share. However, what is the position in Africa? How are African operators leveraging this booming opportunity for growth? How far can they get in the coming years? These and more are explored in greater detail here.
It is worthy of note that a great deal of the world’s biggest operators and suppliers are based in Europe. This means among other things that innovative ideas will constantly go into different progresisve jackpots in Europe.
In top gambling jurisdictions in Europe such as the UK, Malta, Finland, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Spain, progressive jackpots are a sensation. Mega Moolah slot from Microgaming has paid almost €1 billion in winnings, with over 75% of winners based in Europe.
The biggest online jackpot win of €18,915,721 was recorded on Mega Moolah in 2018 at Grand Mondial casino Europe.Casino.org
We must state that a few factors have led to the laudable performance of jackpots in Europe. The first is the regulator’s approach towards supervising operators and ensuring their operations are in line with existing laws. The UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority are two top regulatory bodies in Europe and the world. In addition to these two regulators, other gambling authorities in Europe provide a reasonable legal framework for players to trust operators with their money.
Secondly, the regulator provides proper sensitization on progressive jackpots and their fairness to new entrants into the industry. This makes it possible for European operators to partner with other B2B platforms to provide value with every jackpot.
The gambling landscape in Africa is rising significantly, as several sites are becoming increasingly popular amongst young people. The African market is also filled with indigenous operators as well as those from Europe, North America and Oceania. As a result, a hybrid of operators continue to provide optimum value to gamblers who love to have fun at such sites.
Generally, casinos are not as popular as sports betting sites in Africa. This is despite most of the sports betting platforms also having a casino platform where players can explore several games.
NOTE: the biggest gambling markets in Africa are South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Morocco, Botswana, among others. South Africa, Kenya, Botswana and Ghana have the most reputable gaming regulators in the continent.
The gambling state in the vast majority of African countries is a preference for lottery jackpots, as opposed to progressive jackpots. The typical gambler would likely go for a state-owned or private-run lottery game with a potential for huge payouts, rather than play progressive jackpot games. In fact, there are several physical outlets selling lottery tickets in many countries.
The situation is not the same with progressive jackpots, as only a select portion of gamblers even believe in them. First, many casino operators don’t offer these jackpots to their audience, including the offshore ones. One reason for this is the lack of proper sensitization on how these jackpots work and how they can provide value to operators.
Unlike their counterparts in Europe, most African regulators do not take strategic steps to encourage progressive jackpot offerings by operators. Such regulators hardly partner with experts to spotlight progressive jackpots and their relevance to all parties.
Hence, the result is that even though some operators still offer these jackpots, especially in South Africa, there’s little or no confidence in the actual games. Also, the casino operator suffers loss of gambling revenue that normally ought to have been made from bets on jackpots.
It would be a grave injustice to highlight issues bedeviling a robust progressive jackpot system in Africa, without making recommendations. So, we recommend the following points to improve progresisve jackpots in African market:
1. An overarching holistic approach to progressive jackpots
Regulators have a big responsibility that goes beyond issuing licences. There needs to be a robust collaboration of regulators, operators, suppliers, industry experts and independent policy makers. Such collaborations will lead to massive campaigns for more widespread adoption of progressive jackpots. For instance, this could take the form of a monthly jackpot promo run by a supplier in partnership with operators in its network.
2. Strategic sensitization
Both state-owned and private-owned lottery jackpots are popular in Africa because they are given subtle but massive marketing. Something similar can be done with progressive jackpots. Regulators need to carry out detailed sensitization programmes on what these jackpots entail. Also, operators have to commit resources to working out great strategies for pushing these jackpots. Once the strategies are player-focused, chances are that players will develop confidence and trust in the system.
3. Building credible brand identity
If a casino operator had issues paying out fairly sizable wins on regular games, how would it pay a progressive jackpot winner? One good step towards enhancing progressives is for operators to have a super credible brand identity. Players only stay where they can get their winnings without excuses. So, both the regulators and operators must have a solid framework for ensuring that an operator’s brand is fit for progressives.