In the year 1956, Sydney’s gambling history started. During that year, game machines were legalized in New South Wales. Prior to 1956, many different forms of gambling were already in existence. However the year of 1956 led to gambling becoming popular in Sydney. It was an important year for the gambling industry during that year in Sydney.
Prior to the year 1956, gambling in Sydney for the most part was illegal. Many people did not receive punishments for gambling because often times the police were paid off. The illegal gambling places were full of drinking, poker, and bookmaking. Forbes club was one of the most popular places to gamble at. It operated illegally for many years, even though it was signposted and located right by a police station.
Before modern slot machines came into existence, they were pretty basic. However, at that time it did not matter that they were basic. There was still much gambling taking place. As years went by, slot machines became more popular. It eventually became the most popular form of gambling in Sydney and in other parts of the country. During the 1960s, there was a lot of speculation spreading about slot machines. Some speculated that slot machines were backed by the mafia. Others speculated that it was the mafia who brought the machines into the country. There has not been any evidence that can prove any of the suggestions, but if there is truth, this means they seen the potential in the machines way early on.
The slot machines started to become better in the 1980s. Before the 1980s, the machines only had 3 reels and the payouts were small compared to today’s. The first video poker machine was released in the 80s. Obsessions over the video poker machines started since its existence. They were much quicker to play and had more of an attractive look to them. Jackpots from the machines were bigger. During this time, computer chips became common for pokies. Years later all slot machines became fully computerized because of the online casino industry.
In this current day and age, Sydney and the state New South Wales generate the most profit. About half of the pokies in Australia are located in New South Wales. A large amount of them are in Sydney. Throughout the last decade, the machines have become more popular, even with online gambling existing. The popularity of pokies have increased and it has also increased in number. It is not just the casinos in Sydney generating money from the machines. Pubs and clubs in New South Wales also have a lot of pokie machines.
In 2003, it was reported that there were about 76,000 pokies located at both pubs and clubs in New South Wales. Pubs and clubs have generated around $35 billion in the state. There was around $500 million in tax revenue and an estimated amount of $3 billion in profits. For the casinos there, the revenue reached a total of $500 million.
Three out of every four slot machines in the state are located at a pub. Many people question will the success of pokies in Sydney continue in the future. There are some who think they would not because of the rising concern over problem gambling. Australia has a very high gambling problem rate. Since there is a growing gambling concern, there is a growing belief that at some point the government will put a stop to it.
Some believe that the government had a good understanding of a potential problem gambling issue occurring back in 2001. Back in 2001, the government passed the Interactive Gambling Act. This act has banned real money gambling companies from advertising to Australians. Even though this law has strong limitations on online gambling, 7 out of 10 Australians gambled in 2009. Most of the Australians who participated in gambling during that year played the pokie machines. At this point, it might not even matter if real money gambling companies advertise their services to Australians. The reason is because pokies have become such a huge part of the culture. Since pokies are a huge part of the culture, this means problem gambling has become normalized, especially in Sydney.
As you can see, the gambling industry has made quite of few advancements in Sydney and in the state of New South Wales since its existence. How much longer the success of pokies in Sydney continue? This is something no one can answer at this point. However usually once a problem becomes very large at some point, there are strong limitations put on the cause of it. Obviously in the future, if there are strong limitations put on pokies in land-based casinos, clubs, and pubs there will be a lot of people who will be upset about it.