It is on record that Australia sits top of the pile when it comes to the world gambling rate. The region remains one of the most penetrated gambling markets globally as it boasts about 80% of adult participation. This staggering gambling rate has a lot of implications, especially financially and emotionally. These concerns have strengthened the need for regulation. Hence, the Commonwealth has stepped in to provide further regulations even though it was initially the state’s duty. Worries about “problematic gambling” and revenue collection have been on the front burner.
Aussies have a plethora of sites where they get information about pokies and their latest releases. Many Aussie players persist in reading reviews and getting informed, especially about new pokies, to maximize their winning potential. Pokieslab is one for sites with a compilation of the best online pokies for real money in Australia with the ability to try free demo games and real money with no deposit bonuses and free spins.
Australian Entertainment Trends
Australia is home to lots of entertainment. Here, gambling is a form of entertainment, and many engage in it as a form of leisure activity. As households’ disposable income increases, they have higher tendencies to spend more on leisure activities like gaming.
While trends in the entertainment industry keep influencing the gambling sector, it is usually enticing to most especially new users to stay active via these trends. More recently, the casino relies on these trending industries for a better input in gambling.
Key trends in Australia today include the journal and advertising industry, music and movies, video games, and smartphone apps. Online pokies appeal to gamers when users see a flash of familiarities, such as games with movies and cartoon themes. If you happen to be a movie fan and log on to find pink panther themed pokies, you will want to give it a try. Such are other sectors, like smartphone apps. This is becoming more popular recently as almost everyone goes on a smartphone and consumes a wide range of apps. This way, they get enticed by flashes of apps they are familiar with that are used in gambling.
A large chunk of the revenue from entertainment is engineered by smartphones and the apps they support. According to PWC, about 88% of Australians now own smartphones. Smartphones, because of their portability, offer easy access and convenience of enjoying entertainment systems, including pokies on the go either at day or night. The changing consumer preferences, especially in terms of how and when they access content, have transformed how the entertainment industry connects with customers.
Another trending sector that affects the Casino industry is sports. Everyone loves sport! More so, no one goes without a team; hence, football stars play significant roles in influencing the casino industry. The love for sports has influenced several sports betting gambling games, among other games like keno, live dealer, scratch cards, etc.
How Often Do Aussies Gamble Online (2020 vs. 2017)
- The number of participants in online pokies decreased (75%) as many people indicated a loss of jobs, reduced income, and working from home while some experienced loss of their source of income.
- 1 in 10 people increased the frequency of online gambling
- Research showed that the number of people gambling online declined in 2020, but those who gambled spent more.
- Most of the recipients stated they would return to the casinos as soon as the casino measures are cancelled.
- Online gambling spending increased by 25%, while the average monthly gambling spending diminished from AU $ 450 at the beginning of 2020 to about AU $ 200 in summer 2020.
- In 2017, the Australian Institute of Family Studies showed that pokie was easily accessed, with an estimated 200,000 active pokies machines.
- In December 2017, statistics showed that 50.1% of Australians, or 9.5 million gambled in an average of three months. In 2017, total gambling expenditure in Australia decreased to $23.694 billion (0.5 % decrease)
- The gambling expenditure in Australia decreased to $1,251.39 (1.7 % decrease) per adult.
- The total electronic gaming machine expenditure in Australia increased to $12.136 billion (0.5% increase)
- The total casino expenditure in Australia decreased to $4.790 billion (7.8% decrease)
- The total race betting expenditure in Australia increased to $3.313 billion (6.9% increase)
- The total sports betting expenditure in Australia amounted to $1.062 billion (15.3% increase).
There are over a thousand and one pokies available to Aussies online. The majority of the pokies are available for free play with no deposit and registration. Gamers take advantage of the zero risks of playing pokies and learning new tips for hitting big in real money games. Besides, some casinos offer gamers free spins and bonuses to play for real money with no deposit.
Besides bonuses, Aussie players value a thrilling game experience, which is why some pokies are prominent. Pokies need no download to run on mobile devices like iOS, Android, and Windows. They are available directly on web browsers with the help of HTML5 technology. Hence, gamers can enjoy gaming on the go on their mobile devices without experiencing glitches in functionality and gameplay. Below are some of the popular pokies offered in Australia:
- Dragon and phoenix pokies: Dragon and phoenix is a 5 by 3 video slot game with full and awesome screen features. It has 5 reels and 20 lines. Dragon and phoenix’s illustrations are available for mobility with a high payout of 20 euros or more.
- Wolf treasure pokies: Just as its name deduces, wolf treasure pokies majors on wild wolves; however, it is not scary or frightful like its name implies. It offers 5 reels and 25 pay lines, with 97.64% of welcome bonuses with its availability on mobile phones and tablets.
- Bloodsuckers: This is an amazing game for lovers of vampires and love lines. When you slay enough vampires, it gets more money to your wallet. It has 5 reels, 25 line pokies, and can be played with as low as 1 cent. There are mobile versions available. It has a whopping 98% payout.
Real Money Slots in Australia & Upcoming Trends
Aussies have an extensive collection of pokies that are available for real money play. Real money slots are available on both PC and mobile. But before you access them, you have to register with a casino game provider and also make a deposit. There are several factors to consider before playing pokies for real money. Gamers have to check for the best RTP slots, free spin offer, bonuses, game configuration, and casino payouts. Check some pokies design below:
- 3 Reel Online Pokies: These paylines are singular or more, how well you could hit certain symbols or bonus items determines your chances of winning big.
- 5 Reel Online Pokies: The 5 reel online pokies are the most popular poker machines and otherwise called video pokies. They are more prevalent in today’s gambling experiences. They have a great theme and storylines, which has effects in high bonus games output.
- The Progressive online pokies: They are any of the 3 reels or 5 reels online pokies, and usually have an additional bonus called jackpot bonus. These pokies have a pool where a small percentage of gamers’ bet increases the total jackpot prize. Many progressive jackpot slots are high variance games with a huge max payout.
Slot manufacturers keep coming up with innovations that shape the overall gaming experience of games in their cabinet. Here are top trends to look out for:
- Hold-and–respin: It is a mechanic that holds a jackpot and bonus symbol in place while spinning the remaining reels. This feature aims to collect the most prominent possible reward; hence, it keeps gamers glued to the game.
- Optional Reel-spinning- Slot manufacturers are now developing games that appeal to younger audiences similar to those on their smartphones. Hence, instead of spinning reels, they develop puzzle games and ones with shooting and matching symbols. The new games combine skill and luck, but hardly do you find ones solely based on skill or luck.
- Cashless system: Developers are working towards helping gamers pay for real money games by tapping buttons in place of cash.
- Other trends to watch for include overall one spot for reward and event management by casino systems. Also, there are more live dealer games where players can participate in their PCs and mobile devices.
How to Protect Yourself from Illegal Casinos
Exclusive data provided by SEMrush showed that traffic to illegal online casinos boomed in 2020 despite the government’s efforts to block unlicensed offshore gambling sites. Only in Australia “online pokies” web searches grew from 12,100 in February to 40,500 in April due to mass closures of land-based casinos. Ignorance does not proffer a good course. To ensure your safety from illegal online casinos, you need to be aware that they exist in the first place.
The Australian government surveyed over 5,000 people who gamble online. While some are genuine, more than half of the survey participants were categorized as having a more dangerous gambling experience due to illegal sources. The outcome of this affects not only the participants but also the government, who lose potential revenue. Here are a few steps to protecting yourself from illegal casinos:
- It is regarded as illegal when it is not from the state government, nor does it have legal backings, license, or document.
- If it doesn’t involve putting in a skill, then it becomes an illegal form.
- Gambling is usually based on an opportunity to win. If it doesn’t proffer this, do well to save yourself by reporting.
- If it involves social betting, it also detests it, as betting is risky.
Real Money Pokies & Legal Australian Online Casino Sites
Online pokies can be played legally for real money in Australia, but it is illegal for unlicensed sites to provide that service. In 2019, the Federal government estimated that Australians lost about $400 million annually on illegal gambling sites. As a result, the government lost around $100 million in tax revenue, which would have been collected if patrons used legitimate sites.
The Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) was passed into a bill on the 28 June 2001 by the Australian Parliamentary Government. The bill received its assent on 11 July the same year. It sets to protect Aussies from online gambling and minimize harm to consumers. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the regulatory body in charge of enforcing IGA, has recently ordered internet service providers to block illegal gaming sites.
Although blocking sites have commenced since November 2019 with significant success, it isn’t easy to ascertain its effectiveness. Because most of the sites that are blocked often resurface under a new name and domain. Also, global bookmakers are benefiting from the upscale in online gaming patrons. Many offshore gambling operators have revealed a significant increase in profit in the third quarter of 2020. Hence, this trend has fueled fresh criticism against the government’s potential call to adopt stricter measures and policies against online gambling activities.
Taxes on Real Money Pokie Winning in Australia
Winnings from gambling are not taxed in Australia. First, it is not considered a profession as gambling; it is treated as a hobby or recreational activity. The Australian government views gains from gambling activities as a result of good luck and not hard work.
Also, gambling is not considered a skilled profession. Hence, even experienced pokie players who may argue that winning is more of a skill than luck are still not asked to pay tax. Besides, even if you win big in gambling, many have recorded losses in other gambling sessions. However, a gamer may be required to pay tax if registered as a business. In such cases, players who get sponsorships and endorsements due to their professional gambling career would pay tax.
In place of players, gambling operators are the ones that pay tax in Australia. The taxation of game providers depends on several factors. These include the region of operation, turn over on players, and the form of gambling offered. For instance, tax on electronic gaming machines operating in the state of New South Wales is between 16.41 – 38.91% of gross revenue. In contrast, the value is between 31.57 – 51.57% in the state of Victoria.
Global tax regulations vary from one country to another. While some countries mandate casinos to pay tax on their proceeds legally, others require patrons to pay tax on their winnings. Compared to Australia, below is a table showing the top 10 countries with the highest and lowest tax rates on gambling:
The Latest Study on Real Money Gaming In Australia
Technological advancements have kept on bringing innovations to gambling, but risking your money with the hope of hitting big profit remains the core of gambling activities. There is no guarantee of return because most gambling machines’ outcomes are unpredictable.
An average Aussie above the age of 18 in Australia loses over $1,000 on gambling annually. Australian gambling industry records one of the highest annual losses in the world. According to the government’s analytics, Aussies spent over €19.56 billion in 2017 on gambling. This figure only surpasses the spending of the US, China, the UK, and Japan. The review also revealed that the Australian government loses between $64 million and $400 million in potential tax revenue by patronizing illegal offshore sites. Australia’s gambling losses per adult are double the index in the United States.
Here is a quick rundown from the chart
- Between 2017 and 18, $1,292 was spent on gambling per person, a 3.3% increase between 2016 and 17 ($1,251).
- Total gambling expenditure increased by 5% from $23.694 billion in 2016–17 to $24.887 billion in 2017–18.
- Electronic gaming machine expenditure increased by 3.2% from $12.136 billion (2016-17) to $12.520 billion (2017-18).
- Total casino expenditure increased by 6.5% from $4.790 billion (2016-17) to $5.101 billion (2017-18).
- Race betting expenditure increased by 7.1% from $3.313 billion (2016-17) to $3.547 billion (2017-18). The average spent per person on racing is $177 from 2017-18.
- Total sports betting spend increased by 16.3% from $1.062 billion (2016-17) to $1.235 billion (2017-18). The average spend per person on sports betting is $62 on sports between 2017 and 18.
- Aussies spent an average of $1,017 per person on gaming in 2017-18.
- The per capita gambling turnover in 2017-18 was $11,362.
How the Pokies Industry Is Changing In 2020
The pokies industry keeps experiencing changes ranging from the machine itself to the casino environment, operator’s legislation, government policies, etc. A significant futuristic change is foreseen in the legalization of online poker companies.
Since people have plenty of online activities in this age, there is a threat regarding whether a ban would be placed on online pokies. While the government would not want a reduction in the percentage of recreational advantages that pokers give, they are faced with the possibility of enhancing the online pokies to benefit the citizens.
A National Consumer Protection Framework (National Framework) for online wagering was announced on 30 November 2018. The law was amended to clarify that it is illegal for unlicensed overseas gaming companies to offer Australians gambling products. Besides, the government supports the website blocking scheme to protect Australians from unlawful offshore gambling websites.
There are good sides to playing pokies online; some gamers have benefitted from winnings that changed their fortunes. Still, it also has its associated downsides like the addiction and the loss of money. Even the government often loses money in the form of tax to illegal sites online. Playing pokies or not is a choice, and everyone has the liberty to choose.
Since cryptocurrencies arrived at the shores of online gambling, gamers worldwide are now using the technology to participate in betting activities that were initially limited or banned in their regions. Virtual Reality (VR) is another innovative creation that is increasingly adding to players’ overall gambling experience. Hence, more accessories are being developed to enhance VR gaming, and it won’t be long until every gamer gets access to this technology.
Playing pokies online for real money is a form of entertainment for Aussie players besides the hope of winning money. The new age of online entertainment pokies promises more fun, comfort, accessibility, usability, versatility, recreation, and creativity. Although the law binding the online pokies might not change, there are high tendencies that propose a less strict regulation on online pokies’ operation for real money. While the laws remain, the possibilities of an amendment while still protecting citizens from harm are predictable.
As people keep looking for different ways to spend their leisure, the online pokies industry drives towards aligning gambling with other social activities. Game providers keep improving their services and upgrading programs and benefits that are difficult for gamers to overlook. These are coupled with an intelligent web-based framework developed for accessible gaming, payment, and communication with the gambling community.
The advent of smartphone technology has revolutionized the online gambling industry, and more innovations are bound to follow. In the coming years, three major factors would command a significant change in the online pokies industry. These factors are defined in simplicity, privacy, and availability.
While ruminating over these factors, here are questions to be asked: does online gambling have a good prospect for users? How does it promote users’ privacy and comfort? How accessible are the online pokies, and what advantages do they have over offline machines? All these should be answered in light of the changes predicted for the future.