While all gaming machines are very popular in Australia and New Zealand, the history behind pokies can be fun to learn about! In Australia, pokies are actually the name for poker machines. These are their version of slot machines. Usually they will have about 5 lines or reels on them, so when you win, you can get extra free games and casino bonuses! Like any other gaming machine, it’s no wonder pokies are so popular!
Australian Gambling and Pokies
The laws around slot machines and casino games in Australia are looked after by the state government with a casino usually found in every city. You can also find casino’s gaming machines at pubs or bars, and some clubs throughout the country. The last decade, pokies have also been popular online. You can now play pokies on internet sites, such as spin palace or all slots casino which are populat online brands in Australia according to www.casinoreef.com.au/all-slots.
New South Wales was the first to receive pokies and make gambling legal. They did this in 1956. By 1999, Australia would have over 180,000 pokies or slot machines. This was a big shock because they actually had 5 times as many as the United States! Australia had more slot machines than Las Vegas!
As gambling increased and more pubs and clubs were interested in installing pokies, they added more to parts of Queensland, Victoria and other areas. In Victoria, they opened the Crown Casino which started taking $100 notes. This was something people worried about because when people play on a gaming machine, they can set it to auto play. That means it will spin the reels and gamble for them. The problem was that they let the auto play button work on pokies that accepted $100 notes. Due to auto play taking gamblers’ money very quickly, this made the gambling addiction problem worse. People could now gamble away $100 notes in a very fast way.
Hence, concerns have aroused over the addiction that pokies cause to gamblers and since 2007, all gaming machines with support for $100 notes were banned. Yet, pokies remain on top of the gamblers’ list in terms of popularity.
New Zealand Gambling and Pokies
Gambling in New Zealand would take off in a similar way and it would be run by the Department of Internal Affairs. They were also concerned about a lot of people having gambling problems, since in 2008 alone, New Zealanders gambled $2.034 billion!
In New Zealand, gambling began in 1920 with horse racing, but it wouldn’t be until 1991 that pokies would be introduced to the gaming venues. Fast forward to 2009, New Zealand now has over 20,000 gaming machines operating in casinos or online. For example, all slots casino is also popular in Australia according to www.casinokiwi.co.nz/all-slots.
Their machines are set up differently than in the United States, though. For example, to avoid gambling addiction, New Zealand’s pokies have different features. When a player has been playing for a while, the gaming machine will tell them how much money they’ve lost at that point and how long they have been playing. Gamblers may play pokies all night and not realize how much money they are losing if they keep putting the money they won back into the machine. This kind of feature help gamblers to restrain themselves from gambling that much!
Will pokies prove popular online, much like their land-based versions? We bet they will!