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Regulation of Gaming Machines

The people of Australia enjoy partaking in games of chance. So popular has gambling become in the country, that many gaming machines can be found outside of a casino. These machines are officially known as gaming machines, but more commonly referred to as poker machines or pokies.

These machines vary in their details, but most use video displays to resemble reels. Gaming machines in Australia are not regulated by the national government. Instead, each state government is given the authority to determine how they wish to oversee the use of gaming machines. Gaming machines are found not only in casinos, but also in pubs and certain types of clubs such as sport or social ones. Most major cities in the country have at least one casino. This particular type of gambling was first made legal in the Australian state of New South Wales back in 1956. In fact by the time of the new millennium, more than half of the country's pokies were found in New South Wales. In comparison to other nations, Australia has five times the number of pokies than the United States where gambling is limited to certain locations. Legalized gambling is a boon for Australian states as the majority of gambling revenue is collected by their entities.

Some other Australian states have placed certain restrictions on the gaming machine in their domain. For instance, in Queensland, these machines must provide a return rate of 85%. Casinos are not exempt from this as their return rate has to be at least 90%. This is also true for other locations in the country such as Victoria where the return rate is 87%.

Recent legislation has been enacted, placing some limits on these gaming machines. For instance, machines made since 2003 could no longer accept $100 notes. They also were no longer able to feature play buttons that would play automatically when held down.