In Australia, slot machines are also known as poker machines or pokies, slightly of strange name for a very popular game. Australian slot machines have video displays with up to five reels. Poker also works the feature several enhancements like free bonus games and rounds, and allows multiple paylines (no less than fifty) as well as multiple ways of playing (no less than 240).
These complex machines, though an advantage for casino and club operators, have become a target of complaints and protests from the talk-oriented groups who claim that these machines contribute to the increasing incidence of gambling problem in the country. This is not surprising as Australia has one of the world’s highest per capita concentrations of slot machines.
The laws and regulations governing gaming and slot machines differ from state to state. The state of New South Wales, for example, legalized poker machines in 1956 and allowed them into clubs and registered publications. The state of Queensland requires casinos to place a refund rate of at least 90%, and 60% for poker machines located in clubs and publications.
In Australia, slot machines and other casino games have become a vibrant industry. The proof of this is the fact that poker machines can now be found in almost all casinos and clubs across the country, in almost every major city in Australia. This has alarmed some areas of society, which claim that the widespread accessibility of poker machines has caused a rise in the cases of gambling problem. Most players say that poker machines are the biggest offenders when it comes to the problem of playing the addiction in the country.
Gambling addiction is a problem that can be solved if people are made aware of the consequences of their actions and seek professional help. The rise of problem gamblers in Australia has also prompted the establishment of support and focus groups that help the players problem to overcome their addiction.
Although Australia has one of the highest concentrations of slot machines in the world, the rules and regulations governing the availability of poker machines in the earth down under have been all relaxed compared to other countries like United States. This has not escaped the attention of many people especially the clergy and charitable foundations, who have complained about their accessibility among even the common people. There are now movements among some groups to make the laws more stringent for operators and slot owners of multi-hand machines.