Play Progressive Slots in New York

For many retail and online casino players, progressive slots stand out from regular slots thanks to their potential to award huge, eye-popping payouts. In fact, the largest wins in slots history have come from progressive jackpots.

Even so, just like with regular slots, some progressive jackpots are better than others. Here’s an overview of the different types of progressive slots and jackpots, including information about where to find the best progressive jackpots in New York.

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What are progressive jackpots?

Slots each have their own particular ways to win, including ways to claim the game’s biggest prize by hitting a certain combination of symbols. Whether you’re playing in a brick-and-mortar casino or online, the games featuring the big progressive slot jackpots generally draw a lot of attention. The prize amount increases every time someone plays and doesn’t win. Much like what happens when a lottery jackpot gets especially large, the bigger it gets, the more people want to play.

Progressive slot jackpots were first introduced in 1986 by International Gaming Technology. The first IGT slots game to feature a wide area progressive jackpot was Megabucks, with a jackpot starting at $1 million. Today progressive jackpots are a common feature among slots. Seven- and eight-figure jackpots are quite common.

How do progressive jackpots work?

Look below for details about different formats and types of progressive slots. First, though, here’s a quick explanation of how progressive jackpot slots work.


Progressive jackpots become so large thanks to players contributing to them with every spin. Generally speaking, progressive slots require players to bet the maximum amount in order to qualify for the progressive jackpot. A small percentage of each wager is automatically added to the jackpot each time a player spins and doesn’t win it. That small takeaway is called the player contribution. Those contributions usually make up the majority of the cash prize.

If you’ve ever played poker in a room with “high hand jackpots,” then you’re familiar with this concept. The dealer will set aside a small amount out of every pot for the high hand jackpot. That’s exactly how it works with progressive slots, too.


In most cases, a progressive jackpot begins with what is called a seed: the initial minimum cash prize. Every time the jackpot is won, the amount reverts to this base value or seed amount. When playing progressive slots online, you’ll see the seed value listed among the other game information.

Note that it’s common to encounter different levels of progressive jackpots online based on the amount of the prize. A “mini” progressive jackpot might start with a small seed of just $10 or so. The larger ones can have a seed as high as $100,000 or even $1 million.

Where to play progressive slots in NY

New York has legalized online sportsbooks and may soon add real money online casinos. When that happens, there are several operators already present in the state that will likely launch new online casinos in NY. All of these operators feature slots—and progressive options—prominently in their online casinos.

  • BetMGM Casino — It features several progressive slots highlighted by the exclusive MGM Grand Millions game, the popular Melon Madness, plus a selection of popular MegaJackpots titles like Wolf Run, Wheel of Fortune, and Cleopatra.
  • BetRivers Casino — It features the above-listed MegaJackpots titles along with Siberian Storm, Ocean Belles, and Golden Goddess. Also, check out games like the smaller Double Jackpot Gems and Triple Jackpot Gems.
  • Caesars Casino — Caesars has popular progressive jackpot slots titles like Divine Fortune with its progressive Mega Jackpot as well as Fortune Coin Boost (with multiple progressives) and others.
  • DraftKings Casino — DK also features the MegaJackpots, plus others like Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin, the $100,000 Pyramid, Atomic Meltdown, and more.
  • FanDuel Casino — Here, you’ll find many of the jackpot slot machines mentioned above, along with others like Fortune Coin, Lightning Leopard, and Dragon Power.

New York slots players will also find progressive slot machines on the gaming floors at each of the state’s retail casinos in NY.

Players can also enjoy progressive slots online in New York at different social and sweepstakes casinos. Sites like Chumba Casino, Pulsz Casino, LuckyLand Slots, and Funzpoints feature progressive slot games. These sites use virtual currencies but sometimes offer ways to redeem winnings for real cash prizes.

Types of progressive slots

All progressive slots involve games in which a small percentage of the money spent goes into a jackpot that increases every time the jackpot is not won. That said, there are different ways to create these jackpots. Here are the most common types of progressive slots found in online casinos.

  • Shared progressive slots: Sometimes jackpots are shared among several different slots linked together within a single casino (local progressives) or even between multiple casinos (wide area progressives). You will often hear shared progressive slots described as a “network” of slots, all of which contribute to the jackpot. Players on all the different games are able to win the big prize.
  • Wide area progressive slots: Progressive jackpots slots began many years ago with IGT’s innovative wide area progressive slots. Like shared progressives, wide area progressives can involve a large network of casinos across many different states. Some regulated US online casinos have wide area progressives for which a single jackpot is linked to the same game in different states.
  • Local progressive slots: Local progressive slots are another example of shared progressives. These involve linking several slots in a single casino. You might find local progressives at a legal US online casino that links multiple games made by the same developer.
  • Individual progressive slots: You’ll also find progressive slots that apply to a single game. These individual progressive slots are quite common at US online casinos. The jackpots for these individual progressives are typically smaller than for shared progressives. These are also sometimes called exclusive progressive slots or standalone progressive slots.

Types of progressive jackpots

There are not only different types of progressive slots but also different ways that progressive jackpots get awarded. While old-school retail slots with mechanical reels are limited when it comes to awarding jackpots, online casinos have more flexibility. These slots can be creative when it comes to different ways players can win.

This creativity extends to progressive jackpots, which can be awarded in a number of ways. Read on to learn more.

  • Scatters: For scatters jackpots, slots use special symbols or logos to award progressive jackpots. You must hit a certain number of them on a given spin to win. You win if you hit the minimum required number, no matter where the symbols might appear scattered on the screen.
  • Picks bonus: For jackpots awarded via a picks bonus, a certain spin result will give you a chance to make picks. If you are correct, you win. Light & Wonder‘s 88 Fortunes is a popular example of a slot with a picks bonus, triggered whenever a wild symbol (the Fu Bat) appears to close the pot. You then see 12 coins and start picking them until three of them match. If that happens, you can win a mini, minor, major, or grand jackpot.
  • Bonus games: Bonus games represent another game-within-the-game way to win jackpots. Certain combinations break you out of the regular game to play a different one that yields an opportunity to win.
  • Wheel spin jackpots: One popular add-on to slots is to spin a wheel. In some cases, you’ll find you can win progressive jackpots this way. With wheel spin jackpots, you hit a “spin” sign and are invited to spin the wheel, often with a chance to win a variety of different-sized jackpots.
  • Random jackpots: For most options described above, you generally have to bet the maximum in order to qualify for the progressive jackpot. However, some slots offer completely random jackpots, for which you can bet any amount and still win. The popular MegaJackpots slots include this method of randomly awarding a jackpot after a spin.

Online progressive slots odds

When playing online slots, you should be able to look up the return to player (RTP) percentage for every game. Usually, that information is included with other details about how the game plays and pays out. You’ll find the average RTP is around 95-96% for most online slots. Some will obviously be higher and lower.

Even though it is difficult to win a progressive jackpot when playing slots, that progressive jackpot increases the game’s attractiveness to most players. In fact, you’ll often see advice to stay away from slots that have RTP percentages below 95% unless they are progressive slots.

That said, the odds of winning a progressive jackpot are usually extremely slim, so much so that this advice suggesting it is OK to play low RTP slots with progressive jackpots is a little misleading. Sure, you have a chance to score a massive win, but you probably won’t. Meanwhile, you’re likely losing a little more quickly than at a slot with a higher RTP percentage.

There are several factors that affect your chances of winning a progressive jackpot, but generally speaking, you see the odds ranging from one in 50 million to one in 600 million for the largest progressive jackpots. It’s a bit like winning the lottery. Indeed, like a lottery, these prizes keep increasing until someone wins.

Online progressive slots vs. offline progressives

Playing progressive jackpot slots online offers certain advantages over playing them in retail casinos. Of course, there are reasons why some prefer the live option. Here’s a look at some pros and cons of online progressive slots vs. their offline counterparts:

Pros of online progressive slots

  • a greater selection of progressives than typically found in retail casinos
  • a larger variety of bonus games and alternative ways to win jackpots
  • more frequent opportunities to win different levels of progressive jackpots (e.g., mini, minor, major, grand)
  • the opportunity to win hundreds of thousands (even millions) on a single spin from the comfort of your own home
  • convenience, speed and other advantages of online vs. live play

Cons of online progressive slots

  • jackpots aren’t often as large as found in brick-and-mortar casinos
  • online progressive slots sometimes require opt-in and extra contribution per spin to play
  • not all online casinos feature progressive slot jackpots
  • you typically must bet the maximum to qualify
  • odds of winning the largest prizes are exceedingly slim

Best online slots with progressive jackpots

Let’s cover a few of the best and best-known progressive slots in the industry.


MegaJackpots progressive slotWith its MegaJackpots series of slots, IGT provides several of the most popular progressive slots at most online casinos. Perhaps the most popular and best-known is the Egyptian-themed Cleopatra MegaJackpots. The game features five reels with three rows and 20 adjustable paylines.

Cleopatra Megajackpots has scatters with which to get free spins, a bonus round, and the MegaJackpots. There’s a low RTP of 88.98%, but the game is linked to other MegaJackpot games to create a huge six-figure progressive. As with the other games, hit five MegaJackpot symbols across the middle to win the big prize.

Divine Fortune

Divine Fortune jackpot slotThis favorite slot with a theme based on Greek mythology from NetEnt features five reels, three rows, 20 paylines, and a 96.6% RTP (relatively high for a progressive slot machine). There are three different jackpot prizes with no minimum required for eligibility. There are a couple of ways to trigger the jackpot Hold & Spin style bonus: either by getting three or more gold coins on a single spin or by accumulating the needed coins during wild respins.

From there, you get three spins of blank reels to add more coins, with a chance at earning 10 to 200 times your stake. Get lucky and fill the entire 5×3 grid with coins and win the maximum jackpot.

China Shores

China Shores progressive slotFrom Konami comes the Asian-themed China Shores with five reels, 30 paylines, a 96.1% RTP and loads of fun features, including bonus rounds and free spins. As in other Konami titles, you’ll find so-called “range progressives” that offer a variety of different prizes that can potentially be won with any bet level.

That said, you can bet anywhere from 1 to 50 coins. Since the paylines are fixed, that means you can multiply your bet level as high as 1,500 coins.

Monopoly Millionaire

Monopoly Millionaire jackpot slotFrom Bally Technologies comes this popular slot based on the classic board game. Monopoly Millionaire features five reels and 40 paylines and an RTP percentage of 95.4%.

Mr. Monopoly himself stars as a high-value wild symbol with lots of free spins and multipliers, plus other features like mystery and chance spaces. There’s also a bonus wheel with cash prizes and four other bonus games. As the name of the game implies, you can win $1 million via its Super Jackpot.

Melon Madness Deluxe

Melon Madness Deluxe jackpot slotBetMGM Casino features this fun, fruit-themed progressive slot developed by PartyCasino’s in-house team. Melon Madness employs five reels and three rows with 30 adjustable paylines and an RTP percentage of 95.04%.

There are lots of wilds, scatters, multipliers, and free spins to keep things interesting, plus five different random progressive jackpots for which you need to wager the maximum to qualify. The big jackpot is routinely over $1 million. Back in 2013, a player won over $7.5 million playing the original Melon Madness game.

How do progressive jackpots pay

Since progressive slots jackpots can be especially large, casinos (including online casinos) often establish alternative ways of paying out the prizes, much like the lottery does for its biggest winners. Typically, when someone wins a progressive jackpot of $1 million or more, the winner will have a couple of options. You could receive the winnings in a single payout or in installments over time.

  • Lifetime payout: Winners of especially large (e.g., seven-figure) progressive jackpots will sometimes be offered the option of receiving their winnings as a lifetime annuity. Typically that means being paid out in annual installments over 25 or 30 years.
  • Lump sum payment: There is also usually an option to receive your winnings in a single “one-off” lump sum. Some of the largest progressive jackpots ever won were claimed as a single payment.
  • Taxes: Whenever someone wins a large progressive slots jackpot, that person is obligated to pay taxes on their winnings. Gambling winnings usually count as income. They’re, therefore, subject to federal tax as well as state tax (except in states with no state income tax). See our guide to taxes on gambling winnings for more information about jackpot winners’ obligations.

RNGs and progressive slot fairness

Slots players sometimes wonder about the fairness of the games. But if you are careful to play only at licensed and regulated online casinos, you can rest assured that game integrity is guaranteed. Regulators often perform quality checks and test games to make sure they fall within legal guidelines. The safest online casinos often also subject their sites and games to rigorous audits.

The software that powers online slots employs random number generators (RNGs) to ensure the results are fair and that the spins are completely random. RNGs use an algorithm to ensure that the way symbols land cannot be predetermined in any fashion.

The RNG affects all aspects of gameplay in slots, including the awarding of progressive jackpots. As noted, if you make sure to play only at online casinos in legal and regulated jurisdictions, you can be confident that progressive jackpots are awarded fairly.

Find quality progressive slots in New York

Progressive jackpots add a fun and exciting wrinkle to slots. When looking for the best progressive slots in New York or elsewhere, spend some time researching what games are available and what kinds of prizes they offer.

Progressive slot FAQs

In March 2003, a player playing a Megabucks slot operated by IGT at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas beat the odds and won $39,713,982.25 after spending just $20 on the spin. The win set a record for progressive jackpots that continues to stand.

That jackpot bested the previous record set in January 2000 when a player won $34.96 million playing a Megabucks slot at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. The third-largest win also came via a MegaBucks machine in November 1998: a $27.6 million win at Palace Station Hotel and Casino.

As far as online progressive jackpots go, the largest win ever came in April 2021 when a player in Belgium won €19,430,723.60 playing Absolootly Mad Mega Moolah game from MicroGaming. At the time, the win was worth close to $23.5 million USD.

It depends on the player’s preferences. Progressive slots certainly offer more chances to win life-changing sums of money with their massive jackpots, although the chances of winning those big prizes are mighty slim. Usually, progressive slots have lower RTP percentages than regular slots, whether they are live or online slots. That difference makes regular slots preferable for some players.

Most online casinos offer free or “demo” versions of their progressive slots that allow you to get a feel for how the games play. You can also play free progressive slots at social and sweepstakes sites that allow you to play online casino games using virtual currencies. Some of these sites also feature table games to go along with slots, including online roulette games in NY.

Usually, online casino bonuses can be used to play progressive slots. Whenever you have a chance to receive a bonus, including no deposit bonuses and other types, check the terms of the offer to see if there are any restrictions on the games you can play with the bonus funds.

It depends on the type of progressive slot. Smaller progressive jackpots hit fairly regularly, but you’ll find the largest progressive jackpots only come along very rarely. Up above, we point out how the odds can range from one in 50 million to one in 600 million to win.

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