The casino side of (possibly for sale) 3D online poker operator PKR recently paid out the largest slots jackpot in its six-year history. On Nov. 2, a housewife from Donegal turned a 20-cent spin on the Adventures In Wonderland slot into a progressive jackpot payday of over $408k. True to form, the Irish lass told PKR she and her family “partied till the early hours.” Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, she found out she was pregnant again just two days later. The money (or possibly the hormones) clearly had an effect on her worldview, because she’s now convinced she’s an National Football League quarterback who’s just won the Super Bowl. “The first thing I’ll be doing is taking my children to Disneyland.” And from there, on to Hawaii to compete in the Pro Bowl!
As impressive as that over 2m:1 ratio of stake-to-payout may be, it pales in comparison to the player from Helsinki, Finland who turned a €5 spin on the Arabian Nights slot on Finnish operator PAF.com into an €8.65m jackpot – a new Finnish slots record and second only in world record terms to the Betsson player who earned €11.7m in September 2011. True, the fortunate Finn’s stake-to-payout ratio is a mere 1.73m:1, but the enormity of the payday means you could buy everyone in Helsinki a shot or two of Finlandia vodka, while we’re reliably informed you need at least half-a-million to have a proper night in a Donegal pub.
PAF operates a gambling monopoly on the Åland Islands, while RAY holds the slots and casino monopoly on the Finnish mainland. RAY recently published statistics showing an impressive 18% of the nation’s adults copping to having pulled a slots lever in the past week and nearly 40% admitted to playing slots within the past year. Compare that to neighboring Sweden, where just 2% of residents admit to playing slots the previous week and just 14% over the past year. Despite the Finnish fondness for slots, RAY research manager Anssi Airas told GamblingCompliance that just 1.5% of Finns are considered problem gamblers, a comparable figure to Sweden, despite Finland having an installed slots base of around 20k machines compared to Sweden’s 7k. Finland currently has some 7k points of sale at which slots are available, and in August, RAY’s Business Locations Director Jarl Kivelä said slot play in Finland is “a part of dropping in somewhere to do some shopping.” Come to think of it, it would make the loathsome treks to the malls every Christmas infinitely more tolerable.