Gambling Love Affair: Why Australians Love Pokies So Much

Gambling Love Affair: Why Australians Love Pokies So Much 2

Last Updated on September 19, 2020 by

Australia is known to be one of the countries with the greatest number of gamblers worldwide. They have quite a relationship with gambling, but it’s not all love as Australians do lose a lot of money from this each year.

According to Australia’s government, Australian annual gambling losses each year is around 24 billion Australian dollars. That’s around 18.4 billion US dollars each year. This amount us more than double of how much Americans are losing to gambling yearly.

While many Australian gamblers are losing money to gambling each year, it’s undeniable that their economy is benefiting from it. Last year, the Australian casino revenue alone reached almost 7 billion dollars and it’s still expected that it will continuously increase in the next few years.

Gambling, in general, is legal in the country and this is most likely why Australians have completely embraced gambling. One of their favorite ways to gamble is through playing the pokies or electronic gaming machines.

Pokies or the slots came to Australia during the era of World War II. It was the New South Wales that first legalized poker machines in 1956. It quickly became the favorite of many pub-goers in the area. It eventually spread throughout Oz and other places.

Don’t get yourself confused as pokies are basically slot machines. The term ‘pokies’ is just really more popularly used by the locals. Other casino games that are popular in this country are Baccarat, Bingo, and Blackjack.

While Australians do gamble in many ways, they seem to just really have quite a love affair with the pokies. In fact, Australia is one of the countries with the greatest number of pokies or slot machines in their country.

It is estimated that around 200,000 pokies are scattered all over Australia. That just means that for every 114 people in Australia, an electronic gaming machine is available for them to play. These pokies machines are usually found in pubs, hotels, and casinos.

While actual pokies machines are found all over the country, more and more people are still playing this on many pokies site. This is great for Australian gamblers as they can basically play pokies anywhere they are in the world.

Online gambling is still technically illegal in Australia, but Australian online casinos can still offer their gaming services to the people outside Australia.

The IGA or the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 of Australia states that it is still illegal to provide interactive gambling activities to someone in Australia. Under this act, the following are found as an offense to the law:

  • Operators providing prohibited interactive gambling services to people in Australia
  • Unlicensed operators providing interactive gambling services to Australians
  • Australian-based operators providing interactive services to customers in Australia.

It does sound like online gambling is completely illegal in the country, but as of now, there is still no person who is prosecuted because of gambling online in Australia. In fact, the IGA doesn’t really specifically state that Australians can’t gamble on online casinos based outside the country.

This is why playing pokies online is still prominent in the country. Around 20 to 30b percent of Australian adults play pokies at least once a year. The availability of pokies and other casino games online and outside the internet makes gambling a bit of a problem in the country and this is why the government is regulating laws about it.

Overall, Australians lose about 633 Australian dollars per adult because of pokies. It is in NSW where a lot are losing their money to this. Tasmania has the lowest average amount of loss per adult which is at around 233 Australian dollars.

Pokies are still regulated on a state-by-state basis. To make sure that this is highly regulated in Western Australia, the state only allows pokies machines inside casinos. This means that placing pokies machines outside casinos is very much illegal.

When it comes to the people who are always trying their luck with these machines, a study found that regions outside Melbourne that are less wealthy had more pokies machines available. This just means that more people who can’t really afford to lose money are the ones who are losing the most from playing pokies.

The pokies machine reform is still being realized in the country and about 70 percent of Australians agree that gambling should be strictly regulated. Around 74 percent agree that only a limited amount of money should be spent on it. With this, the Australian states are now finding ways to lessen the gambling problems in their areas.