This question was recently posted on a forum of which I’m a part:
So…. those land-based progressive humongous jackpots (e.g., win. $100k with max bet kind of slots):
1) Are they specific to Vegas or national?
2) Do they cover all casinos, regardless of chain (including cruise ships)
3) Or specific to a chain, e..g, MGM, Caesars, etc.
Big jackpots (generally six figures and up, but can start smaller) tend to be what are called wide-area progressives, in that they span more than one casino. They’re not specific to Las Vegas, but they many times aren’t national either – more often they’re clustered by state or a group of states, for instance.
Megabucks isn’t the same Megabucks nationwide; the picture at the top of this article comes from a Megabucks machine that was at one of my local casinos in Connecticut; the Megabucks famous in Nevada starts at $10 million, so it’s clearly not tied to the one here. In fact, you can visit IGT’s jackpots site and see the various progressives in various parts of the country. Wheel of Fortune alone has a ton of different progressives for different markets.
Like any other game, casinos have to opt into placing them on the casino floor, and they have to be games that are approved in a given state, so that can be why some casinos have them and some don’t. They’re generally not specific to a chain unless such an arrangement has been made (Superlock, a Lock it Link extension, was exclusive to Stations Casinos in Vegas, for instance).
You won’t tend to find them on a cruise ship because generally when one is won they take the machine apart to make sure nothing unexpected is found, not practical in the middle of the ocean. In addition, the connectivity needed to link them to the other machines and keep track of the progressive value is likely a challenge to guarantee and maintain given the type of Internet leveraged for a cruise ship.