The Arkansas Racing Commission today approved a proposal from the Saracen Casino in Pine Bluff for a system that links gambling machines in Arkansas to machines in other states and thus creates a potential for large jackpots, sometimes as high as six or seven figures.

The machine vendor IGT would oversee the so-called wide area progressive system. Other casinos in Arkansas would be able to take advantage of this arrangement as well. Rules already allowed such linkage, but Saracen was the first to ask to add the feature.


Progressive jackpots are familiar sights in major casinos around the country. A percentage of bets is held back from the normal division of revenue between casino and vendor to cover big jackpots.

Here’s a website with an explanation.


Maximum bets are necessary to qualify for the biggest jackpots and the action gets heavy, an IGT spokesman said, when the jackpot increases, much as with the Powerball lottery game.

The progressive jackpots are available on a variety of games, including the popular Wheel of Fortune game.


Said Saffa: “With the passage of Amendment 100, Arkansas became a real casino state. We view multi-state jackpots as part of being a Vegas-style casino.  Before the end of this year the machines at Saracen will, quite literally, be linked to those on the Las Vegas strip.”