Comfortable and Furious

Poker Machines: One of Australia’s Favourite Pastimes

Even if you’ve never actually played one, the chances are that you know all about slot machines. The bright lights, clinking of coins and fast paced action are all essential ingredients of a trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City and serve as the backdrop to many wild nights. There are plenty of slots fans in the US, although often the only exposure that they get to the games comes when they visit one of these cities rather than as something to do casually when at a bar. However, over in Australia the story is much different, and the slots are an integral part of their culture and identity for many adults.

There are more cultural differences between Australia, for example, pokies, and the US than many people would think, and just because we all speak the same language doesn’t mean that everything is identical. Indeed, even the language is a bit different, as they don’t even call them slots. Instead, the very same games are referred to as poker machines or pokies for short and you don’t need to set out on a cross-country road trip in order to find them. Of course, many of them can also be played online. On this site you get to try quite a nice selection for free.

So ingrained are the pokies in Aussie leisure culture that you can basically step out of your front door and be within easy walking distance of a game. Legend has it that when you’re in Australia, you’re never more than ten feet away from a poker machine or Australian betting,  although we might have just made that up. It probably isn’t all that far from the truth if you’re in suburbia though, as you can find the classics and the latest releases just about everywhere.

There are of course plenty of casinos. Every major city boasts at least one huge gaming facility and often numerous smaller ones too. These casinos aren’t quite what you’d get in Vegas as they are more about the gaming than the spectacle, but in terms of size and building in resorts, hotels and restaurants, they are more than on par. Some of these casinos boast literally thousands of gaming machines, making for a true pokies paradise for players.

Speaking of hotels, they are also a classic destination for fans of pokies and were not just talking about the ones that are connected to the casinos. Just as pretty much every hotel over here has a bar, everyone over there also has a bar, not to mention dozens of pokies. The Australian government does regulate just how many gaming machines can be in any given venue, but they are usually pretty liberal when it comes to the numbers.

When you consider dedicated poker machine clubs and even the presence of the games in restaurants, racing tracks and pretty much anywhere else that they will fit, you’ll begin to appreciate just how popular the games are among players.

So where do the games actually come from? Someone, somewhere, is making a lot of money out of keeping the interest of players high and the biggest name in gaming in Australia is Aristocrat. The company has been around for decades and is the first one to come to mind when Aussie pokies are in the discussion. They’re not quite a monopoly, but with more than seventy percent of the market being covered by their games, they know a thing or two about delivering. They have actually made massive inroads into the US market recently too and you shouldn’t be surprised to see their branding in effect next time you head to the local casino.

If you thought the players in Vegas took their slots gaming seriously, Australia is a whole different experience where pokies are king!