Both Australians and New Zealanders use the term “pokies” to describe what the rest of the world refers to as “slot machines”. But as all Aussies know, slot machines actually originated from Australia.
Whether you’re looking for an authentic online pokies Australia real money experience or simply want to know a bit more about what started this phenomenon, stick around as we’re about to show you the highlights of the history of pokies!
It all started in the 1950s
The first pokies appeared in Tasmania in the 1950s and the Aristocrat gaming company was the one behind introducing them. In the year 1956, New South Wales legalized playing for real money on these machines, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the other regions decided to follow suit.
Back in the 50s, pokies were completely mechanical in construction, quite unlike the modern digital machines that are the norm today. Traditionally, these machines would have a mechanical lever and no more than three reels. The symbols on the reels were either fruits or poker symbols, hence why the name “pokies” stuck around.
The first video pokies started appearing in the 1980s
When the first video pokies came around in the 80s, it was nothing short of a revolutionary concept. Getting rid of their mechanical core in favour of a digital one opened the doors to so many possibilities and an improved variation of gameplay. On top of that, by their very digital design, video pokies allowed you to play more games per hour in comparison to their older and clunkier counterparts.
Eventually, the side lever got replaced with a simple button, the three initial reels expanded into higher numbers, and their graphical appearance also got a significant boost, thus rendering them significantly more pleasing to the eye. At the same time, these machines got a sound upgrade as well, thus easily sparking the interest of anyone who happened to pass by. Indeed, the 80s were an era of innovation.
The 1990s spelled out freedom for gamblers
In Australia, every gambler remembers the 90s as a welcoming period. At this point, it became clear to the government that gambling had not only become a cultural identity of its people, but also an efficient way to collect revenue. Hence, gambling became legal with practically zero restrictions. Pokie lovers all across the nation rejoiced as these interactive machines started popping up like wild mushrooms.
Pokies in the modern times
Throughout the last couple of decades, we’ve seen an increasing amount of innovation, effectively giving birth to more variations of pokies with constant improvements when it comes to gameplay, sounds, visuals, and everything that goes with it. In fact, it’s not even necessary to visit a casino to see one of them in action – it could be that the pub next door is hiding one too!
Nowadays, Australia has roughly 200,000 physical pokie machines, and there are countless virtual variations available in online casinos. The tax revenue collected goes toward the local infrastructure and supporting the public health and education system.