New Maximum Stake on Slots £2

Will New Maximum Online Slot Stakes Impact Progressive Jackpots?

It was recently reported that online slots will be subject to some of the same maximum stake limits as FOBTS were reduced to back in 2019.

The idea is that anyone under 25 won’t be able to spend more than £2 per spin on a slot machine, and anyone over 25 would be restricted to £5 per spin.

In effect then, this puts an industry wide cap of £5 per spin on slots for all players, however old or rich they become.

Predictably, the anti-gambling lot have said it doesn’t go far enough and the pro-gambling lot have said it is a measure that goes too far, but I am more interested in the knock on effects.

Specifically, how would a low maximum stake limit impact progressive jackpots?

A Quick Lesson on Progressive Jackpots


For anyone that doesn’t already know, a progressive jackpot is one that builds over time as people play the game.

Typically, a small percentage of each stake will be added to the jackpot total to create the prize. Sometimes these can climb upwards indefinitely, other times they have an amount before which they must pay, so the closer they get to that end point the more likely they are to hit.

Some games are linked and share a progressive jackpot, so the total builds much more quickly but the chances of winning it are smaller because you are competing with players on other games as well.

These pots can even be linked across different countries, so you might be playing a game in the UK, but you are going after the same jackpot as someone in Sweden playing a different game that is linked into the same pot.

After progressives have been triggered they start again from a seed amount, which is just a smaller amount of money to make the jackpot worth playing for. It might be £100k for example.

And that’s a progressive jackpot in a nutshell.

Do You Have to Bet the Maximum to Win a Progressive Jackpot?

Do You Have to Bet Maximum Stake to Win Progressive Jackpot

The answer to this question, is it depends on what game you are playing.

The terms will always be available in the game information so have a look before you play, but the good news is that you can still win a jackpot without betting the maximum.

In the days of mechanical slots (and the earlier days of online slots), betting max was usually the only way to win the jackpot, but even then, the payouts were often tiered so that smaller staking players could win something proportional.

Then they came up with new ways of doing things, chiefly:

  • Side bet –Here, the progressive is essentially a side bet. So regardless of how much each player is betting on the slot, the amount they stake on the progressive is the same, making it fair.
  • Scaling chances – More complicated, but basically, an RNG decides that the jackpot is going to pay out once it gets pushed past a certain amount, and the player that makes the bet that pushes it past that point wins the pot. Crucially though, the players don’t know what this amount is. Say the pot pays out at £500,000 and is currently at £499,999.98. A £3 bet might contribute 3p to the pot, whereas a 30p bet would only contribute 0.3p. The player betting £3 only needs to make one bet to win the jackpot and the player betting 30p needs to make 10 bets (totalling £3), so it is still fair.

That said, there are still progressives where the jackpot is only available to maximum stakes bettors, so these new maximum stake limits brought in by the government might still have an impact on some games.

They could exclude UK players from ever winning them at all, which would hardly be fair.

How Would Game Developers React to Lower Maximum Stake Limits?

Slot Developer £2 Stake LimitRemember, developers sell their games across multiple jurisdictions, so while the UK is an important part of the online gaming market, it is only a part of it.

Developers could decide to simply switch off the progressive jackpot for their games in the UK, and save themselves the trouble of coming up with mechanisms to keep British players included in a way that is fair to all.

Then again, they might just as easily run one progressive for UK players and another for players from everywhere else. The pots would grow far more slowly in this scenario, and probably not be worth as much when they drop.

Alternatively, developers might simply stop making progressive jackpot games that require a maximum stake to qualify. If you ask me this would be a welcome development regardless of the law change – not many people are up for spending more than a few quid per spin on a slot anyway.

The other option, is that the game developers put their heads together and come up with some other way to solve the issue. I’m not a game developer or a maths whizz so I don’t know what that would look like, but innovation often comes from difficult situations.

It would be great if the industry was forced into thinking up some ground breaking solution that totally changes the way progressives work.