The History of Pokies: How Pokies Became Big Business in Australia and New Zealand

The history of gambling is an interesting one to examine. While the current state of it varies across the world, it’s something that has been prominent in various locations at various times across human history. For some, it’s easy to see how directly that past has led to the state of its current legality. For others, however, the line is less straightforward.

Gambling machines, called ‘pokies’ in Australia and New Zealand, are popular forms of entertainment in this part of the world. However, how did they get that way? Did history naturally lead to them ending up as such a staple of the modern world?

The Origins

How did it all begin? Well, the popular consensus is that gambling and the various games that fall under that umbrella were brought with the settlers, and it quickly spread to various groups and social circles. It’s interesting to examine the relative similarity to how it was enjoyed in the earlier years in countries like the USA and Canada against the more liberal approach that Australia and New Zealand have towards gambling in the modern day than those countries.

This repeated reinforcement of the activity as something that everyone could enjoy seems to have had an impact on this, although there are also allegations that lobbying amongst political parties could also play a part in why gambling continues to be so accepted to this day.

The Machines

The machines used here are interesting to examine as well. While the pokies themselves are iconic in this regard, the term in the modern day is almost something that’s transcended that original format. It now also applies to online casinos (dubbed ‘online pokies’) as this is often the most accessible and convenient way to play the games that audiences are seeking. Due to this, the refinement and sophistication of these platforms have managed to improve, with secure payments and continued integration with devices such as smartphones.

However, that’s not to say that the original pokie machines aren’t popular. In fact, among a lot of people who might not have ever warmed to the online pokies, the original way to play might prove to be just as popular as ever – especially with their integration throughout pubs and similar social settings.

Alternative Opinions

Gambling, though, is never something without controversy. Due to the potential damage that unrestrained gambling can have on a person, the more liberal approach that these countries have towards gambling isn’t something that everyone celebrates in quite the same way. While some might see it as an opportunity for people to live in the way that they want, others might favor the more regulated approach taken by countries like Canada. However, it might be difficult to alter something that is seen as being so ingrained in the culture as this is. Awareness of the kinds of issues that gambling can lead to might be seen as the best way of encouraging safe and moderated gaming, perhaps creating an ideal middle ground.

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Author: James

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