AP News

NJ OKs multi-state slot jackpots; SD participating


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey casino regulators approved a multi-state slots system designed to result in larger jackpots.

The state's Division of Gaming Enforcement said Wednesday it has authorized a wide-area progressive slots jackpot system involving New Jersey and other jurisdictions.

It said "several states" have indicated an interest in participating, but listed only one: South Dakota, which is still considering its own regulations for multi-state slots. The launch of the system depends on how quickly other states approve their own regulations, the division said.

The goal is to create larger jackpots that will be more appealing to players — some of whom will come to Atlantic City's casinos for a crack at them.

International Game Technology will operate the system, which will be called Powerbucks.

The maximum odds against winning? 150 million-to-1.

David Rebuck, director of the gambling division, said the system should create Powerball-type slots jackpots.

New Jersey has been working on the system for several years, and it comes as the state has recently begun Internet gambling.

"This is an exciting time for New Jersey as we expand the gaming opportunities available in the Atlantic City casinos," Rebuck said.

"We hope to now see even larger progressive jackpots with the links to wide-area progressives in other states," he said. "With competition from surrounding states, the increase in slot machine jackpots will make Atlantic City more appealing to players."

Slot machine revenue accounts for roughly two-thirds of the money won by Atlantic City's 11 casinos.

The technology already exists to link slot machine jackpots. So-called progressive jackpots have been offered among different casinos in Atlantic City since 1989.

The system will not be available in Delaware or New York casinos, which only offer video lottery terminals rather than slot machines, or in Pennsylvania, which does not offer wide-area progressive slot machines.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC


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