How Many Poker Machines in Australia?

how many poker machines in australia

Australia comprises less than half a percent of world population but boasts nearly 200,000 poker machines, commonly referred to as “pokies.” They can be found everywhere from casinos and pubs, clubs and hotels – even schools – making up part of Australia’s infrastructure and contributing to billions in earnings every year – more than racetracks or lotteries combined!

But these machines can be highly controversial. They’ve been linked with money laundering and have been implicated in suicides, financial offenses, family breakdowns, domestic violence and poverty – not to mention being addictive gambling machines which require no thought or social contact and depend solely on chance. Critics allege these machines as addictive forms of gambling that demand little thought from users and relies solely on chance as its foundation.

As one of the nations with one of the highest rates of gambling losses in the world, Australia ranks high when it comes to pokie losses and revenue collection for state governments – more so than betting taxes and racing profits combined. But there’s been growing momentum towards change; with New South Wales state election on Saturday providing an opening for major reforms within this industry.

NSW boasts the highest concentration of poker machines of any state – 86,640 – with seven people for every machine reported within its borders. Yet profits per machine continue to increase because NSW machines boast higher average return-to-player ratios compared to their counterparts in Queensland and Victoria; these ratios are calculated over multiple years of each machine’s existence.

As part of their election platforms, both Labor and Liberal-National parties in NSW have pledged policies designed to address problem gambling. If elected, Dominic Perrottet has pledged that players be required to set spending limits and all machines be cashless within five years; center-left opposition leaders, however, support limited trials of cashless cards instead.

Prior to the election, Mathias Cormann, finance minister of the coalition government and advocate for gambling reforms, touted increasing poker machine profits as evidence of success; critics contend that an increasing point-of-consumption tax only encourages operators to install more machines for greater profits.

Opponents believe that changes are long overdue in the gambling industry, regardless of taxes. According to them, the current model is unsustainable and there needs to be significant adjustments made in how gambling is promoted in Australia. For example, moving away from a culture which celebrates playing pokies – with its free drinks and buffets – toward one which emphasizes its harms; such as making all pokies cashless while increasing transparency or requiring gamblers sign a self-exclusion scheme or harsher penalties when breaking rules – should all help create a fairer society overall.