Pokies Losing Ground to Online in Australia

Published Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - Online-Casinos.com

In Australia the pokie or slot machine is loosing ground to the new and improved way of playing slots. Internet gambling is slowly and without a doubt surely replacing the old pokie as the gambling venue of choice. The owners of these machines in Australia are seeing a continued drop in their use and are becoming concerned that they are just not making them as much money as they used to.

One Queensland hotelier who spent $5 million for the maximum 40 machines for a new tavern near Gold Coast recently was complaining that in some pubs revenues had dropped 20 per cent. Pokies still have some benefit in areas with certain Gold Coast pubs clearing $2500 from the machines even on a slow day. In Queensland there are 45,768 machines which is almost at the maximum allowed by the state set rules of 2008. The Productivity Commission chairperson, Gary Banks, has been quoted as saying he wants to, "Lower the intensity of play," with regards to pokie use.

Meanwhile online gambling continues to make inroads in Australia despite efforts by the government to filter sites. Betfair, the British head-to-head wagering company is seeking a low-cost tax deal from the government has estimated that $300 million leaves Australia via offshore gambling every year. Online gambling regulation and taxation has become an issue in many parts of Australia. Mr Fraser, the Treasurer, recently cut in half the government tax rate on wagering on dogs and horses in Queensland to safeguard racecourse facilities, similar to the situation in the U.K. A decision from the Rudd Government on the Interactive Gambling Act will make it more clear how dependant the government wants to remain on income derived from the pokie machines. $12 billion is put into poker machines annually in Australia, a huge revenue source for the tax coffers.The government has seen the writing on the wall, as the demographic changes to a younger more tech savvy group online gambling will be the future and they want to be there to get their cut.

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