Last Updated on July 15, 2023 by Nina
Gambling is simply one of the favorite hobbies that Australians have. After all, gambling is not taxed in this country. The Australian government sees gambling as a hobby or recreational activity. They don’t see it as a profession and the winnings that the locals get are all the result of just luck.
About 80 percent of the Australian population has gambled or is already gambling, based on statistics. Australians are known to spend the most on gambling. Each year, the Aussies spend over 20 billion dollars on gambling in different ways.
Most forms of gambling are legal in Australia, but there are still limitations to this. In terms of what’s popular, the pokies are what Australians seem to love the most. In fact, over 200,000 pokies are spread across the country. These machines can be found in bars, hotels, and casinos.
Recently, the government of South Africa proposed some changes with regard to the existing gambling legislation. They wanted to allow slot machines or the pokies to also accept banknotes aside from the usual coins.
The Australia Institute recently conducted research about this and the findings aren’t really surprising. There were 503 South Australians that were asked whether they agree with the said change and the majority of them were against it.
This makes sense as Australia is already facing many gambling problems. The surveyed people believe that allowing the pokies to take banknotes will just fuel gambling risks and addiction.
Based on the results of the survey, 41 percent of them are already saying that the pokies should be banned in the first place. Another 41 percent said that there’s no need to change how the pokies work and should just stick with these machines just accepting coins.
There is only 13 percent of these surveyed people who are fine with letting the pokies accept both coins and banknotes. Only 4 percent expressed that they don’t know what to say or what to think about it.
Overall, 80 percent of these surveyed locals strongly believe that if this measure pushes through, gambling problems may just get worse in the country. It will simply increase the harms that gambling can cause.
Meanwhile, 17 percent of these people believe that allowing the pokies to accept banknotes won’t negatively affect the gambling rates in the country or won’t promote more risks when it comes to gambling.
Online casinos are still found illegal in the country based on the Interactive Gambling Act of 2002 in Australia. What’s only legal in the country when it comes to online gambling are horse race betting, sports betting, and online lotteries.
Online pokies, on the other hand, can still be played by the locals. The best they could do is to look for an online casino that accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Crypto-gambling in the country isn’t regulated just yet. It remains in the grey area, and so it’s still technically not legal nor illegal.
The bottom line is that there is no online casino in Australia yet as both local and offshore operators are not allowed in the country. The locals will still have to play online pokies on foreign online gambling operators that have this.
Regarding the new rules that the South Australian government wants to apply to actual pokies, it’s still only part of a proposed regulatory change. The proposal is meant to bring the state’s gambling regulatory framework close to what other territories in Australia has and also with what New Zealand has.
Now, despite the protest of the locals about this, Attorney-General Vickie Chapman spoke about it. She said that if it does push through, the banknotes will be strictly regulated. The amount of money that the players can use will also be controlled. The UK has something similar to this. Slot machines only accept coins in the UK, but there is already a limit of 2 euros for each player.
That may be what South Australia would do if the changes push through, but there no other specific details released about that proposal at the moment. What’s known is that aside from the issue with banknotes, the proposal also includes the barring of patrons from venues with pokies near me. These barring orders will be applicable and issued to all types of gaming venues where there are pokies like casinos, hotels, and bars.
After the release of the research from the Australian Institute, it’s still hard to say whether the proposal will push through or not.