If you’ve been in Australia or read the news, then “pokies” should not be new to your ears. Pokies are fixed Electronic Gambling Machines (EGMs), just like ATMs that Australians use for gambling. They have spinning reels or poker hands that the gambler selects. A small stake can result in a big win.
Australians gamble like no other nation. Statistics say that at least 39% of the total population in this nation participates in gambling. In fact, pokies are not just in casinos but even in hotels, clubs, and pubs. In almost every hotel or club, there is a separate room for gaming. The gambling is mostly run by rich and prominent people. New South Wales State alone has about 95,800 pokies.
Back to the question, why is there so much gambling in Australia? Let’s find out.
Why Australians Gamble a Lot
They call it the gambling capital of the world. An average Australian gambler loses at least $1,170 on gambling every year. This is based on the Australian Gaming Council industrial reports.
Could it just be an adopted culture? Is it pressure from friends and mates? Or why is it that a bigger population of Australia is gambling? These could be some of the reasons. Check them out.
1. Yes, gambling is a culture
From the ancient days, Australians have always gambled and it has finally become a culture. Generation to the next, this tradition has been passed. During the British colonization of Australia in the 18th century, gambling was the major activity that many people took part in. Surprisingly, they have never lost their culture even after so many years.
Gambling is one of the most popular entertainment activities. Just like you would pay to watch a movie, Australians pay to earn through gaming for entertainment purposes. That’s why most hotels and pubs are filled with pokies. It only turns ugly when someone stakes their whole life’s savings or takes a loan to gamble.
It is reported that in Victoria, 90 percent of Australian Football League teams operate their own electronic gaming machines, generating more than 93.000.000 AUS dollars in revenue last year.
Even the top manufacturers of Electronic Gambling Machines (EGMs) are from Australia. One top manufacturer is believed to hold 90% of the market share. At some point, he was accused of trying to make gambling a monopoly although the charges were later dropped.
2. It’s money
Bills need to be paid, right? How best than to just stake a few Australian dollars and earn 100 times more in a matter of minutes? Easy money tastes sweeter. Not everyone wants to go sweating in the kitchen as a cook only to earn what can’t sustain them.
Gambling has become the prime source of livelihood for many people in Australia. Reason being, it’s a get-rich-quick scheme. You can walk into a casino poor and leave a few minutes later, stinking rich. The bad news is that the vice versa is also true.
The government also earns from gambling through taxation. If gambling contributes to a bigger percentage of the tax collected, why not embrace it? The government promotes it openly. The regulations on gambling are not really serious. That’s why there are numerous registered casinos and hotels where gambling takes place.
3. It’s an addiction
Just like any other game, gambling is highly addictive. What if Australians are just struggling with the gambling addiction? What if they also don’t want to gamble but they just can’t help?
Well, this could be true. Because most people are gambling, the support structure for recovery could be very weak. It means more than half the people will encourage you to gamble than not to gamble.
Also, how is it even possible to abandon gambling with pokies all over the place? It’s not easy. Hence, most Australians find themselves in the situation that provides a very conducive environment for gambling.
For instance, sipping your coffee quietly in a pub and boom! You see a poky over there with someone screaming around it like they’ve just won a jackpot. You will definitely get interested. Also, with the energy by which the casino dealers advertise gambling, you will no doubt become a gambler.
With the spread of coronavirus and Australia on lockdown, the rate of online gambling has suddenly shot. Most people are now gambling online since all poky shops and casinos are closed. This is alarming. However, pokies remain the most popular machines in Australia.