It’s fairly well publicized that fierce competition exists between online casinos and their web sites. But a new battle is heating up the competition among the casino players, and the choice of software suppliers determines which side the players fall on. We’re talking about the rivalry between the progressive jackpots of Microgaming and CryptoLogic.
The online progressive game phenomenon began in April 1999 when Microgaming introduced CashSplash, the first progressive online slot machine. The $1 slot game was tied to multiple Microgaming licensees, providing a faster growing jackpot and a larger base from which to draw players.
The bid paid off and within a year, millions of dollars had been paid out to hundreds of players. A couple of years later, Microgaming introduced the JackpotMadness portal to facilitate marketing the suite of progressive games that had been introduced since the popularity of CashSplash became apparent.
Meanwhile, Microgaming’s challenger, CryptoLogic had quietly been rolling out its own collection of progressive online games. And not to be outdone, the JackpotMania portal site was launched, again to facilitate the marketing of progressive games.
The information provided at each site is laid out similarly, but the inherent qualities of Microgaming and CryptoLogic incur most players to side with one or the other, which is probably what has sparked the battle to attract players. After all, size matters when you’re talking about progressive jackpots.
One glaring difference between the offerings can be found in the number of pooled Judi Mpo Slot casinos that participate in each software supplier’s progressives. Seventy participating casino sites carry one or more of Microgaming’s progressive games. This creates a very large player base, which in turn creates very large jackpots in a short amount of time.
On the other side of the fence is CryptoLogic, which has 12 casinos pooling players and jackpots. One way that Crypto makes up for the difference is by offering jackpots with higher base amounts; two of them start at $100,000.
Both portal sites offer automatic e-mail notifications of jackpots over a specified amount, supposedly so that you will play after the jackpot has reached a certain plateau. And, both portals offer information on winners and the ever-important jackpot size of each game with real-time counters. Microgaming goes one up on Crypto by adding testimonials from winners, but surely this will be an addition to Crypto’s site before too long.
Another similarity: You won’t find any odds listed for any of the progressive games at either site. This is merely an observation, but even after searching some of the member casino sites, the information on odds was not easy to come by.
The main difference between the two portals isn’t really the sites themselves but how the two companies set up the games. For instance, Crypto really has four progressive games, but two of them have $0.25 and $1 versions, while Microgaming has five distinct progressive games–two $1 games, two $0.50 games and one $0.25 game.
Crypto offers two different progressive poker games (one video poker, the other Caribbean poker) and Microgaming just offers one progressive poker game. The Crypto Caribbean poker progressive game has a $100,000 minimum progressive jackpot and is a multiplayer slot game, but you have to play a bonus $1 wager on each spin to be eligible for that progressive jackpot win. Microgaming has no multiplayer progressive game at this time.
CashSplash is to Microgaming as Rags to Riches is to Cryptologic. These are the big-name slots that are marketed to the gaming public very heavily, both by the software giants and the casino operators themselves. Rags to Riches is a one-wheel, three-coin slot and CashSplash is a three-reel, three-coin slot. Both are $1 games. Rags to Riches has a $100,000 minimum progressive jackpot, but you have to win a bonus spin after you match the three Rags to Riches symbols. CashSplash has no minimum jackpot.
After looking at the record of the game winners, it’s easy to see that for CashSplash at least, it’s not necessary to have a minimum because with so many people playing it, there are multiple winners per day and the average jackpot is around $30,000. With Crypto, however, there are less winners and bigger jackpots. It’s a fairly broad generalization, but that’s how it’s played out thus far in the relatively early life of the competition.
The numbers of total payouts are hard to compare. At the time of this writing, Microgaming had doled out over $30 million in progressive jackpot wins and has paid out nearly $1 million each month for the last six months. JackpotMadness’ pool of winners is more comprehensive than JackpotMania’s. The only payout numbers I could find on the latter’s site were numbers briefly displayed on the home page, which declare “$4.9 billion in payouts.” This information, which can also be found on the “About Us” page, references the total amount processed by Cryptologic, so it’s not the amount paid by progressive jackpots. The listed jackpots add up to roughly $604,000 for 2001.
As more options are available to players, they will become more fickle, which it seems is exactly what the software suppliers are banking on. They’re allowing the licensees to work together and they’re doing a little branding and marketing for them with the portal sites. It’s a win-win situation for the software companies and their licensees. And from the looks of things, it’s a winning situation for a lot of players too. Let’s just hope that the friendly competition makes it better for the players in the long run.