Join date: May 23, 2022


Gambling International: Australians are crazy about gambling

Games of chance are not only played in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, but are popular all over the world. This is also the case in Australia, where many Australians regularly challenge their luck at one of the country's numerous slot machines. However, this casual attitude is now turning into a real problem, as more and more Australians are suffering from gambling problems - and the number of machines is increasingly on the rise.

"Pokies" are creating a buzz across the country

Throughout the country, but of course mainly in large cities, so-called "pokies" can be found in Australia. Strictly speaking, these are poker machines, although the term has long been applied to classic slot machines as well. There are no real restrictions and it is not uncommon to find 50 or even more of these machines in pubs or bars. After all, the "pokies" are enormously popular with Australians and are a welcome leisure activity for many "Aussies". Not for everyone, though, because even in Australia many players have problems separating the occasional game from excessive play. That's not a big surprise, because nowhere in the world is as much gambling done as in "Down-Under".

In detail, this means that in 2017, every Australian gambled more than 1,300 Australian dollars on average. That, in turn, is equivalent to about 1,000 euros. Thus, the spending of Australians on gambling here is significantly higher than in any other nation on this planet. In fact, it's twice as high as in the U.S., where Atlantic City and Las Vegas are at least two real gambling capitals. All in all, that makes a gambling stake of around 15.5 billion euros placed by Australians in 2017. And: around half of this was wagered at the good 200,000 "pokies" in the country. This illustrates how enormously integrated the machines are in the lives of Australians.

One pokie for every gambling addict

The real problem with pokies, however, according to experts, is that many players can no longer distinguish between regular and occasional gambling. Around 200,000 Australians are considered to be addicted to gambling, so that for every "pokie" machine there is in principle one gambling addict. Criticism has come from the Alliance for Gambling Reform. This is an alliance that advocates stricter regulation of gambling in Australia in the future. Among other things, the alliance demands that the maximum stake on pokies per game should not exceed one Australian dollar in the future.

Currently, stakes of up to ten Australian dollars per game round are possible in some cases, so that Australians could easily gamble away more than 800 euros in an hour on just one machine. The problem for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, however, is that it faces an overpowering gambling industry, which the Alliance compares to the gun lobby in the United States. So there is likely to be a long way to go before the demanded restrictions are actually implemented - if at all.

Problem reminiscent of British FOBTs

The bottom line here is that there are some similarities to the so-called Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, which are widely used in the UK. These are not regular slot machines, but small stations, some of which are an integral part of the street scene in some cities in England. These machines are also heavily criticized because players can lose large sums of money in a very short time. In England, for example, there were plans to limit the maximum number of rounds that can be played, but this has not yet been implemented. This is probably also because the British gambling opponents are dealing with an enormously powerful industry - which has so far always been able to get out of tricky matters.

However, the UK has decided to revise its own regulation once again. This applies in particular to gambling providers on the Internet, whose "charisma" is to be restricted in the future, for example, by advertising bans. Unsurprisingly, however, the industry is fighting this decision with all its might, as it could mean losses in the billions. The bottom line, however, is that it cannot be dismissed out of hand that in the UK, as in Australia, some problems can be associated with gambling in society.

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