Apparently, despite its fairly limited population size compared to other countries around the world, Australia can probably consider itself as the gambling capital of the world. Sure, there’s no Las Vegas in the desert outback or Macao looking over the Great Barrier Reef, but there certainly is a strong affinity for casino gaming in this fascinating place Down Under.
Still the biggest resort venue of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, the prominent Crown Melbourne Casino boasts the largest gaming space anywhere in that half of the globe, covering 220,000 square feet or 20,000 meters if you’re into the metric measurements. That’s more than ample enough to hold 2,500 poker machines (also known as pokies or slots), 540 table games including blackjack, roulette and others, plus 100 dedicated poker tables.
But alongside the lively physical casino resorts that are in every major city, the vast majority of Aussies have fully embraced the digital age, turning their enthusiasm for gambling to online casino sites. And the biggest buzz often revolves around the spinning reels of slot gaming, as we take a closer look at industry revenues, with pokies often front and center when it comes to generating interest among players.
Casino Gaming Thrives Down Under
Just in case you didn’t already know, more people per head of population gamble in Australia than anywhere else in the world, so to say they enjoy betting and wagering Down Under would be quite the understatement! But we can’t make such claims without hard evidence to back them up, and the information comes via market analysis company IBIS World, using more officially sounding financial terms like per capita gambling expenditure instead.
They highlighted that on average, Aussies have splashed out $1,143 AUD each on their gambling entertainment, during the course of the 2022-23 financial year. Also listed were the impressive revenues by different segments. These included lotteries raking in $13.2 billion AUD, horse racing and sports betting romping home with $6.1 billion AUD, while casino gaming slots in with $4.4 billion AUD.
While much of those segments generate revenue from online activities, roughly 30% of all the revenue from social clubs is actually generated by electronic gambling machines, most of which tend to be pokies. This is the commonly used name that Australians use for slot machines, and pretty much any similar games of chance featuring the spinning reels, whether they’re physically located at land-based venues and clubs or digitally available at casino sites.
Aussies Mostly Call Them Pokies
Just to reinforce the point, pokies are slots and slots are pokies, right? They’re basically the same thing, whichever name you might prefer to use. And without any doubt, online casino slots in Australia have become the most popular game at gambling sites. According to CasinoAus’ reviews this is mostly because of the sheer number of different games available, given that developers have focused on variety that will suit every preference.
The most traditional kind of Aussie slots are the three- and five-reel games, although nine-reel spinners are introducing more paylines and betting options. Another novel innovation in recent years are slots with cascading reels, which are a bit like the casual match-three games like Bejeweled or Candy Crush Saga in style. These bring an alternative visual experience to the screens, as icons colourfully explode when they match, only to be replaced by more.
Likewise, themed slots bring familiar sights and sounds to the gaming fun, including many that are branded around hit movies and popular TV shows like Game of Thrones. Players can also get their groove on with musical pokies, including some themed around Aussie rockers AC/DC and American band Guns N’ Roses, plus loads more. Indeed, there’s reely something for everyone with stylish spinners that will touch every kind of interest.
They Would Be Lost Without Slots
Australia has around 200,000 physical pokies dotted around the country, but anti-gambling organisations are looking to reduce that number, while state and national governments are tightening regulations. But in the meantime, players are increasingly drawn to online slots websites, given there’s far more choice and variety anyway. Indeed, no amount of cancel culture will reduce the passion for pokies and slots in this buzzing landscape.
Honestly, we can’t really imagine Aussies without their pokies, or call them slots if you prefer. In some respects, it would be a bit like Sydney without the famous Opera House or Melbourne without its giant MCG stadium. Take those away and they’d be sorely missed, just the same as if you took pokies away from the folks who really enjoy playing them Down Under.