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IGT announces first multistate progressive jackpot network

Slot machine manufacturer International Game Technology announced the company’s first multistate progressive jackpot network Thursday, linking the games of two casino operators in Nevada and New Jersey.

The initial networks involve casinos operated Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Boyd Gaming Corp.

Under the IGT system, certain slot machine games at Caesars’ 13 casinos in Nevada and Boyd Gaming’s nine Las Vegas casinos will be linked with similar games at Caesars’ four Atlantic City properties and Boyd’s Borgata Atlantic City.

The slot machines are connected under an IGT system called Powerbucks, a multistate wide-area progressive jackpot link.

IGT and rival slot machine maker Bally Technologies supported regulation changes by the Nevada Gaming Commission in November that created the systems. By linking the games, IGT and Bally representatives said the player pools and wagers would potentially increase, growing the size of large multimillion-dollar jackpots.

By increasing the pools across state lines, manufacturers said the slot machine jackpots could rival the awards produced by multistate lotteries.

The regulation allows the Nevada Gaming Control Board to provide oversight for the agreements.

The individual states would collect taxes only on the wagers made within their state boundaries.

Proponents said new progressive prizes could help Nevada casinos remain competitive with gaming expansion in other states. The revised regulation also carries a section to include “other games,” which could allow some companies to offer multistate progressive jackpots for such products as video keno.

“We all win when players engage more, and Powerbucks enables our customers to attract more players to casinos with the promise of more jackpots,” IGT executive vice president of global sales Eric Tom said in a statement.

At the time, an IGT representative said New Jersey, Louisiana, Delaware and Mississippi were exploring the concept and New Jersey was further along in the process.

IGT officials hope to link other states and casino companies into Powerbucks.

Caesars Senior Vice President of Gaming Melissa Price said the system was one of the “innovative ways to bring more excitement to the gaming experience.”

Nevada casinos offer IGT’s Megabucks jackpots, which link slot machines in multiple locations. Indian casinos in California also offer wide-area progressive slot machine networks.

IGT said its wide-area progressive networks have paid out nearly $6 billion in jackpots since the first network was created in 1986, making more than 1,500 millionaires.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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