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Entertainment Today

Sydney 15 May 2015 There is no shortage of column inches devoted to pokies these days. Over the past few months, Australia’s favourite past time has been commercialised, politicised, discussed and debated as never before. At times it has been difficult to remember what all the fuss is about. After all, at the end of the day, pokies are simply about the ordinary day-to-day business of unwinding and having a good time. Everything else has been just about as far away from that as you could imagine.

The good news story

The good news is that pokies are still with us, and still going strong. Did you know that nearly 20% of all the gaming machines worldwide are operated in Australia? In a country with a population of just 20 million, that’s quite something. Pokies are just about as Australian as kangaroos, koalas and cold beer.


Happily, all fuss and froth surrounding the place of pokies in the national culture is something you can leave to one side. The growing supply of pokies-themed games and websites means that it is possible to play your favourite games more easily and more comfortably than has ever been the case. The possibilities of 4G and universal connectivity are taking pokies to a whole new market.

In fact, the online gambling market as a whole is one of the most profitable areas of online business right now. The sector has been showing double digit growth for the past decade and, with pokies to the fore, all the signs are that those impressive growth figures are set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Bigger, brighter and better

The development of ever more impressive graphics and quicker and slicker streaming technologies means that the whole online arena is opening up in a way that has even taken industry insiders by surprise. For example, the pokies-specific website boasts that its games can be accessed straight off the bat. There are no clunky downloads, no hanging around, just instant access to pokies at the touch of a button. It is the sort of instantly captivating offer that is driving the online gaming industry to ever-greater heights.


It is perhaps worth taking stock of the figures to get a grip of just how far the online gambling industry has moved in recent years. Much as we may take it for granted, the World Wide Web has only been with us in any commercial sense for little over a decade. In 2003, for example, the worldwide spend on online gaming was a healthy US$ 7.4 billion. Compare that with the projected figure for 2015 of US$41.4 billion. That represents an annual growth rate averaging 23%.

That figure represents the entirety of online gambling. It is not restricted to pokies style games. However, it is no coincidence that many traditional casino and bookmaking sites also provide at least a token number of slots games. The popularity of pokies may be especially marked in Australia but it is certainly not limited to us. What is more, Pokies games show no sign of losing their appeal any time soon, no matter what they say in the papers.

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