INFOGRAPHIC: Facts About Online Pokies in Australia

Did you know that there is one pokies for every 101 Aussies? Read more interesting facts about online pokies in Australia.

INFOGRAPHIC Facts About Online Pokies in Australia
INFOGRAPHIC Facts About Online Pokies in Australia

Aussies love pokies and there is no doubt to it. Here are some of the most interesting facts about online pokies in Australia according to the latest statistical records.

  • Australian pokie machines account for at least 56.7% of all the money gambled. Relative to other gambling markets in Australia, this is a huge percentage. Sports betting accounts for 5.2% while horse racing, greyhounds, and harness racing account for 15.5%.
  • Over 14.2% of Australians with a majority age of 18+ have tried their hand on poker machines.
  • Over 24.7% of bettors in Australia are now using mobile phones to place their stakes.

Pokies as Gaming Machines

Major Moolah pokies
Pokies as Gaming Machines

In Australia “poker machines” or “pokies” are officially termed as ‘gaming machines’.

Australian-style gaming machines frequently use video displays to simulate physical reels, usually five. These machines have additional bonusing and second-screen features such as free games and bonus levels. They also allow for multiple lines (up to 200) or multiple ways (up to 3,125) to be played.

On multi way games, you can play the entire position of each reel instead of fixed lines or patterns. Like if a player plays 1 reel on a 243 way game, they receive three symbols in the first reel which pay anywhere in the three positions, while all other reels pay in the centre only, with unused areas darkened.

If you play 5 reels, symbols can appear anywhere in the window and will pay as long as there is one in each reel. Most games however still require the symbols appearing left to right, sometimes this even includes scatters. Scatter symbols still pay the same as per conventional games, multiplying their pay amount by the total bet and the amount of ways/reels played.

Features of gaming machine

Aristocrat pokies
Features of gaming machine

Other multi way games give you even more ways by using a 4×5 or 5×5 pattern, where there are up to 5 symbols in each reel, allowing for up to 1,024 and 3,125 ways to win respectively. Aristocrat calls these games Xtra Reel Power and Super Reel Power respectively. These games typically cost more than their 243 way Reel Power counterparts. Recently, IGT has also started to manufacture multiway games.

Gaming machine manufacturer Konami Australia also made an alternative way of gaming by using patterns, where symbols pay adjacent to one another. Most of these games have a hexagonal reel formation, and much like multiway games, any patterns not played are darkened out of use. On both systems, scatter symbols still pay in the darkened areas just like standard machines where scatters don’t have to appear on a payline.

The laws regulating the use of gaming machines in Australia are a matter for State governments, and as such they vary between States.

Gaming machines are found in casinos (approximately one in each major city) as well as pubs and clubs in some states (usually sports, social, or RSL clubs). The first Australian state to legalize this style of gambling was New South Wales in 1956 when they were made legal in all registered clubs in the state.

RTP Rate

RTP Rate
RTP Rate

In Queensland, gaming machines in pubs and clubs must provide a return rate of 85% while machines located in casinos must provide a return rate of 90%. Most other states have similar provisions.

In Victoria, gaming machines must provide a minimum return rate of 87% (including jackpot contribution), including machines in Crown Casino.

As of December 1, 2007, all gaming machines with support for $100 notes were banned due to an amendment to the gaming laws; all gaming machines made since 2003 comply with this rule. This new law also banned machines that would automatically play with the button held. One exception to these laws exists in Crown Casino, any player with a VIP loyalty card can still insert $100 notes and use the autoplay feature, whereby the machine will continue to play without player intervention until credit is exhausted or the player intervenes.

All gaming machines in Victoria have an information screen accessible to the user by pressing the ‘i key’ button, showing the game rules, paytable, return to player percentage, and the top and bottom five combinations, with the odds shown. These combinations are stated to be played on a minimum bet (usually 1 credit per line, with 1 line or reel played), excluding feature wins.

Western Australia only permits the use of particular forms of gaming machine in Burswood Casino, and no gaming machines may be used elsewhere. This policy (the most restrictive in Australia) had a long historical basis, and was reaffirmed by the 1974 Royal Commission into Gambling.

Pokies and the numbers

  • Australia has over 20% of the worlds gaming machines
  • There are close to 200,000 slot/pokies machines in Australia
  • 100,308 of these are found in New South Wales
  • Australia’s population is 20,264,082 – one game for every 101 people
  • 38.6% of adult Australians play the pokies
  • In 2003 / 2004 punters lost $16.21 billion ($9.1 billion on pokies)
  • It is estimated that there are over 300,000 problem gamblers
  • The average payout percentage of pokies is 90.89%
  • Average chance of winning the jackpot playing 1 line is 1 in 50,000,000
  • Average chance of winning the jackpot playing 20 lines is 1 in 2,500,000
  • The highest jackpot you can win in a pub is $10,000
  • The average player loses $380 dollars every year
  • The average problem punter loses $12,000 each year

The Facts of Pokies

The Facts of Pokies
The Facts of Pokies

The most important fact to keep in mind when playing pokies machines is that they all have a payout percentage of less than 100%. Any gambling game with a payout of lower than 100% will eventually lead to you losing all of your money if you play long enough.

While some players will be short term winners only those that win massive progressive jackpots or win a big amount and never play again will be long term winners.

The next thing to keep in mind is that every spin is random and is in no way changed by the previous spins. Each and every spin has the same shot at winning the top jackpot or any other prize. This means that even if you have lost on a machine for a long period of time that there is absolutely no guarantee that the game will start to pay out.

There is no way to win on the pokies in the long term. This is made somewhat worse for players in the fact that the maximum win in a pub is $10,000 per spin which is very small compared to the odds of winning.

Considering the odds of getting a win this big are roughly 2,500,000 to 1 the actual win is really quite small. You have roughly the same chance of winning the lottery where you will get a much bigger prize.

Poker machines have minted a select few super rich, such as James Packer (net worth A$6,080 million), Len Ainsworth (net worth A$1,840 million), Bruce Mathieson (net worth A$1,160 million), Arthur Laundy (net worth A$310 million) and the Farrell family (net worth A$275 million).

Facts about losses over playing Pokies Machines in Australia

Facts about losses over playing Pokies Machines in Australia
Facts about losses over playing Pokies Machines in Australia

In 2013–14, Australians lost A$11 billion on poker machines in clubs and hotels. A further A$1.5 billion is estimated to have been lost on poker machines in casinos. That’s a total of around A$700 per adult per year.

Australians lose more on gambling than any other nation, mostly because of poker machines. In 2014, Australians lost more than US$1100 per capita, compared with less than US$600 in New Zealand and the US, and less than US$500 in Canada and Britain.

In 2013–14, state and territory governments raised A$3.2 billion in taxes on poker machines in clubs and hotels – that’s 5% of state-levied tax revenue.

Between 20% and 30% of Australian adults play poker machines at least once a year (except in Western Australia). The 4% who play weekly are conservatively estimated to lose an average of A$7000 to A$8000 per year.

Australians lose more on gambling than any other nation

It’s easy to lose A$1500 per hour playing poker machines at their maximum bet size and maximum speed. Because poker machine returns are unpredictable over the short term, gamblers playing in this way could lose a greater or lesser amount.

The average poker machine in clubs and hotels makes A$56,000 per year. Some machines are much more profitable, with pokies in several venues in Victoria making more than A$200,000 each.

Poker machines are concentrated in Australia’s poorest suburbs. In Western Sydney’s relatively impoverished Fairfield, each adult lost an average of A$2340 on the pokies in 2010-11 in wealthy Ku-ring-gai and Willoughby, poker machine losses were just A$270 per adult.

In 2010, the Productivity Commission estimated that there were around 115,000 “problem gamblers” in Australia; who account for 40% of losses on poker machines. People who live closer to poker machine venues are more likely to experience gambling problems.

Problem gambling

Problem gambling
Problem gambling

Around 30% of people who play poker machines weekly are problem gamblers or are “at risk” of becoming problem gamblers. In WA, where poker machines are only allowed inside the casino, the rate of problem gambling is one-third of that in the rest of the country.

Aside from banning poker machines outside casinos, the most promising harm-minimisation measures include reducing maximum bet limits and requiring gamblers to set a limit before they begin playing (pre-commitment).

Poker machine reform is popular in Australia: 70% of people agree that gambling should be more tightly controlled and 74% agree that people should be limited to spending an amount they nominate before they start gambling.

Players are not that much winners of pokies machines as are the gaming operators (Pubs, Clubs, Casinos) and the biggest winner of them all is the government who collect billions every year as gambling taxes – a much bigger prize.

Therefore play online pokies within your bank roll and stick to it. Enjoy online pokies and play free for fun and entertainment.

Pokies FAQ

Do you have questions about how to play pokies and how it works? Here are some of the most asked questions with their answers.

1. How do I join any casino to play pokies?

To join an online casino, you must register to play for real money.

2. Am I eligible to play?

For this, you are must be over the age of legal consent as set by the law that applies to the territory you live in. However, you must be over 18 years of age to play at most online casinos in Australia. You must also have a valid payment method in your name.

3. What are the minimum and maximum stakes?

It differs as per the game you are playing. To find out about the stakes for a particular game you can access the “Help” section from any game and find out information about stakes, payouts, paylines and game rules.

4. What is the minimum and maximum that I can deposit?

Every Australian online casino has its minimum and maximum deposit amount. You need to check on their terms and conditions page to find out. We suggest checking first before making any deposits into your casino account.

5. Why do I need to be verified?

UK and International Gambling law seek that all users are verified before they can withdraw funds from a gambling account. This is usually to protect against money laundering but also provides a level of protection to the player from people illegally accessing their accounts.

6. What forms of ID are needed for verification?

Online casinos might ask for copies of your Debit or Credit Card (with the middle 8 numbers on the front and the CV2 code on the back blanked out), copies of utility bills as address proof and photographic IDs such as a passport or driving license showing the user’s face, full name and signature.

7. How do I submit copies of my ID?

An email with the full detail is sent to the player with instructions on what to send and where to send it to.

8. How long does verification take?

This depends on the online casino you have registered with. At some top Australian online casino verification takes up to 3 working days from the day they receive all the necessary documents.

9. How do I log into my casino account?

To log into your online casino account, you hit the “Log In” button that will open on a new window with the login screen.

10. How do I login if I forget which email address I registered with?

If you forget your registered email ID or if you have no longer access to it then you will need to contact the Customer Support team to have it reset.

11. How do I request a new password?

From the login screen, you need to enter your email address and then click on the link titled “Forgotten Password”. This will send a link to reset your password to the registered email address on your account.

12. How do I update my personal details?

Once you are logged into the casino, you can visit your “My Account” link to update any of your personal details. If you change address or the registered name on the account then you may need to provide additional verification.

13. How long does it take to withdraw funds from my online casino account?

Withdrawals request will be processed after the online casino receives an email confirmation. Each banking method has different timescales for processing payments but generally, funds should be in your account within 7 business days.

14. What are the minimum withdrawal limits?

The minimum withdrawal limits differ depending on the kind of banking options you will be using. Usually, the minimum amount can start from AU$20. For more information on making withdrawals from your account, you can visit the cashing out and withdrawal policy pages on the casino website.

15. How do I deposit funds into my casino account?

You just have to visit the banking page of your chosen online casino site and follow the steps to make your deposits. At some Australian online casinos, there is a specific page for casino deposits that have information on deposit funds, terms and conditions and any other information.

16. What methods of payment are accepted at top casinos online in Australia?

There various kinds of casino banking methods that are accepted by Australian online casinos. However, some options are popular amongst casino sites and players such as Mastercard, Visa, Neteller and Skrill and many others.

17. Can I play the games on credit?

Unfortunately, if you are interested in playing casino games for real money you can’t do so on credit. Gambling laws and licenses prohibit Australian online casinos to offer credit accounts to any Aussie players.

18. How do I limit how much I can deposit each day?

You can contact the customer support team at an online casino of your choice to set a daily deposit limit. They will be happy to help you in setting a limit for you.

19. What specification system do I need to play online casino games?

Most online casinos in Australia are compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. Whether it is on a PC or mobile you can either download casino software or directly from the web browser. However, if you are playing from the web browser, you may have Flash version 9 or above to be able to play.

20. Can I play the games on my mobile phone?

Yes, top Aussie online casinos are available on your mobile phone. You can play on iPhones and Android, Blackberry and Windows smartphones.

21. Do I need to download any software?

Not all Australian online casinos require software download. The sites that need software downloads may also offer the option to opt for instant play. However, whichever option you select you can play the casino games online, safely from top online casinos in Australia.

22. Are my details safe at an online casino site?

The best Australian online casinos use the latest encryption and protection technologies, to ensure that your banking information is completely secure. The most commonly known system is the 128-bit SSL encryption technology that all the best online casinos in Australia use.

23. Are the games fair at casinos?

Usually, the best online casinos in Australia are audited by independent firms such as e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance Agency (eCOGRA). They check the casino games to make sure they fair and not tampered with.

24. How much can I win playing online pokies?

Jackpots vary between the online pokies games but the progressive pokies games offer the largest potential wins with many jackpots over of AU$170 Million. The real attraction of the progressive jackpot games is that the Jackpots can be won by playing any stake so each player has an odd of being a huge jackpot winner.

25. Are there any free pokies games?

Yes. There are online casinos that offer Aussie casino players the option to play pokies casino games in “Free Play” mode. It allows you to get a feel for how the game plays before trying your luck and playing for real money.

Free pokies games are a great way to get familiar with the games and understand the ways that line bets and bonus rounds work without risking a penny of your own money.

26. Can I keep my online casino winnings?

All winnings in your online casino account are yours to keep and can be withdrawn at any point.

27. Are there any fun casino games?

Most casino games are fun to play and can provide many hours of engaging entertainment. However, it is up to you to select and play various casino games available at your chosen casino site and decide which ones are your favourites.

28. What are the types of Pokies Online

There might be about 7,000 pokies online, depending on the casino you play. However, pokies games or “pokies” are not the same things as table games or live card games, which are also commonly offered by casinos. Pokies are easier to play and usually entice new players with free bonus gifts.

29. Can I play Pokies for real money?

Initially, many of these pokies are free. If you can access the site and play without downloading anything or even signing up, you don’t have to worry about spending real money. You can play free pokies for practice.

However, once you decide that your gaming is good, you might want to start betting real money to win real money. From there, you can select how much you bet and how many paylines to play.

30. Is there a welcome bonus on Online Pokies?

Most sites offer a welcome bonus that is offered along with a deposit of your own money. Some sites like Rich casino and Superior Casino offer higher welcome bonuses for their new players.

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