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Gaming Guru

David Newstead

Big wins - What do they really mean?

28 September 2010

Every day we see casinos and affiliate sites tout the latest success stories, flash total payout figures for the previous day and generally wooing players to the reels with these stats and stories. But what do these figures really mean? Are they real and are these players really winners?

Well, it's safe to say that generally the casino's are the winners, but that's not to say that these big wins don't happen and don't make these individuals up on the casino – you generally can't win over £1,000,000 and still be down on the casino.

The casinos are also protected from a lot of the biggest wins by being part of a network. Microgaming, for example, have the Mega Moolah progressive slot that produces wins of over £4,000,000 – no one casino could field that bill and expect to be in operation long. Instead the casino game producer seed the jackpot and the operators contribute to it, normally by a defined fraction of each bet struck going to the central pot. So when the game's jackpot is struck, the operator claims the amount from the network organisers and they foot the bill, with no adverse effect on the casino's bottom line. In fact, the publicity a win like this generates is only positive for the casino.

But what about all the non-progressive wins? After all, regular slots are capable of producing big wins of £50,000+ in their own rights, right? Yeah, these really do hit the casinos' pockets but then it's part and parcel of running a casino – it's not all one way traffic! The casino should have generated the revenue or have the liquidity to cover any payout.

This is one of the things I investigate before promoting a casino on my affiliate website, so that I'm comfortable when referring visitors to them. I check the press release wires, the casino's websites and ask directly, i.e. where are the funds coming from, who owns the casino etc. The biggest operators know that for long term profitability they have to payout fair and fast, but it's especially pleasing when one of the newcomers gets it right.

Jackpot Games casino launched only a few months back and has started on the right foot. With a classy website, good affiliate program, top games and friendly and fast player support all making for a top casino experience for players. So I really pleased to hear they quickly paid a new player over €20,000 when she hit the jackpot in Devil's Deilght – a non-progressive slot. It must have hit this new casino operator, but rather than contest or slow pay the player, they celebrated the win with her and paid up fast, which in my eyes means this is a proper casino and one I can happily promote.

However, some casinos have taken to displaying the payout figure from the previous day on their homepage as a way of enticing players to play. While no doubt accurate – there are independent groups that monitor these things – they are somewhat misleading. Yes, the game's produced that amount in payouts, but that's not actual cash leaving the casino and going into the player's bank account – they're all the small £0.50 wins that people wager straight back into the game.

They're the big wins that also get wagered, to either make a wagering requirement or because the player's holding out for a bigger win. A more accurate figure would be how much money was actually sent to players. Will we see this? Probably not. However, a lot of casinos are publically listed and their performance figures will be made available online. Check them out and you'll quickly see that payout figures on the homepage aren't reflected in the casino's profits.
If you're uncertain about which casino to play at, then see my list of top online casinos, simply visit my site – it does exactly as the name suggests!
Big wins - What do they really mean? is republished from