Pokies are the most dominant force of gambling in Australia. They have become so much of a force that many people are concerned.
These machines were first legalized in New South Wales in the year of 1956. In 1976, they became legal in the ACT. During the year 1997, Tasmania legalized them. The Northern Territory legalized them in 1998. Pokies are banned everywhere in Western Australia, except for in their casinos.
Currently there are 196,000 poker machines in Australia. New South Wales has 95,012. Queensland has a further 46,663. New Zealand only has 16,440 pokies. Canada currently has 97,161.
Right now, Australia has more pokies per person than any other country in the world. Except for gambling destinations that are dominated by the casino industry (like Macau and Monaco). Macau and Monaco has one machine for every 114 people.
Australians lost A$11 billion from playing poker machines in hotels and clubs during 2013-2014. Another A$1.5 billion is expected to have been lost from playing poker machines in casinos. This is a total of about A$700 for each adult per year.
Australians have been losing more money on gambling more so than any other nation in the world. A lot of this is due to poker machines. During 2014, Australians lost more than US$1100 for each person. In comparison to this, they lost less than US$600 in New Zealand. Also, less than $US500 in Britain and in Canada.
The state and territory governments in 2013-2014 raised A$3.2 billion in taxes on poker machines in hotels and clubs, which is 5% of the state levied tax revenue.
Studies have shown that between 20% and 30% of the Australian population that are adults play poker machines at least once every year, except in Western Australia. Studies have also shown that there is a 4% who play weekly. Those who are in the four percent are expected to lose an estimated amount of A$7000 to A$8000 each year.
It is very easy to lose a lot of money playing pokie machines when the bet size is maximum and the speed is maximum. The reason is because the returns for the machines are very unpredictable in a short term. This causes gamblers to lose a lesser or greater amount, if they play this way.
On average, poker machines at clubs and hotels make A$56,000 each year. There are some machines that are more profitable than others. Pokies in several different revenues in Victoria make more than $200,000 each.
A select few super rich have minted poker machines like James Packer, Len Ainsworth, Bruce Mathieson, Arthur Laundy, and the Farrell family. James Packer net worth is at A$6,080 million. Len Ainsworth’s net worth is at A$1,840 million. Bruce Mathieson’s net worth is listed at A$1,160 million. Arthur Laundy has a net worth that is at A$310 million. Last but certainly not least, the Farrell Family’s net worth is reportedly at A$275 million.
Pokie machines that are located in Australia’s poorest suburbs are concentrated. Each adult lost an average of A$2340 from playing pokies in 2011 in Fairfield. Whereas in Ku-ring-gai and Willoughby, each adult lost just A$270.
About 30% of people who like to play poker machines on a weekly basis are at risk of becoming problem gamblers. Studies have shown that people who live closer to venues that contain poker machines are more likely to experience gambling problems.
Since there is a major pokie machine addiction, there have been a few suggestions made. One is to ban the machines. Another suggestion is to include a reduced maximum bet limit. Also, the machines can require gamblers to develop a limit before they start playing the machine.
There is strong support for a poker machine reform. About 70% of the Australian population agree that gambling should be more controlled. There are also 74% who think that people should have limitations on spending an amount they propose before they start playing the machine.
Pokie machines are known to be very fun to play. These machines have been playing a very large role in the Australian atmosphere. Unfortunately, there are some people who do not play the machines in a responsible manner. In the future, there might be some limitations on the pokie machines in all of Australia. Especially since there have been a major concern about them spreading around in the country of Australia. Even with all of the concerns in regards to it, there is a good chance that the pokies will still be very popular in the future. Especially since the casino industry is continuing to grow in so many different ways. Not only has the casino industry continue to expand, but the games continue to get better and better each year.