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Aussie Pokies not The Great OZ Dream

I can remember when pokie machines were first introduced in Victoria, they had a buzz about them, something like a kid with a new toy. It seemed this was the new meeting point of friends, a place to grab a couple of drinks and to sink a few bucks into these shiny new, brightly lit, colourful boxes that our NSW neighbours had been enjoying since 1956. Yes 1993 in Victoria the 1 arm bandits hit those streets in a big way. At the time I’m the Government were rubbing their hands with glee. After all they stood profit a nice tidy sum in tax revenue from the pokies.

A few years passed and the internet, though not as we know it today, had relatively just hit our shores. Like most things new it was labelled a fad. although by 2000 this fad was turning into a lucrative business for some, whilst for most it held high expectations & prospects of these rode high on the back of world wide web.

For the previous 3 years to 2000, online casinos had taken advantage of this new medium and were spreading like wild fire through the world wide web. Like most good things Governments seem to hold the opinion that citizen are mindless morons and can’t make adult choices. So in 2000 the Federal Government of Australia introduced a Moratorium on Internet Gambling.

What I found most perplexing about the Internet Gambling Moratorium was at the time there was already a number of Australian Companies that held online casino businesses. There was also Lasseters Online Casino which was officially registered by the Northern Territory Government to operate an online casino. The problem is that no Aussie was legally allowed to gamble online at Lasseters Online Casino. The same set of rules applied to any online casino operated on Australian soil.

Fast forward to now 2008. As long as your 18 years of age you can walk into any pokie venue in Australia and place a bet of the pokies. However in retrospect you not allowed to place any bets on any pokies at any aussie online casino. Is it me or is there something wrong with that picture!

I used to play the aussie pokies heavily. Although I’m not a mathematicians, I realised that the percentage pay-back returns on pokies in clubs, casinos and pokie venues I was playing just didn’t add up. I used to be able to make $50 last hours, but, in later years $50 would be lucky to last 15 min. Pokies, 1 arm bandits, slots call them what you will we all know they are a game of chance. More so you should know that is exactly what they are.

Still if an aussie pokie machine by law must be set to a minimum pay-back return of 78% and online pokies; online casino slots average a pay-back return of 95%, then I know exactly where my entertainment money is going to go. I’ve often wondered what the real reason is behind not allowing aussies to play online pokies at an aussie online casino. Of course I have my theories and yes they all have to do with tax.