The love of “pokies” in Australia is undeniably exceptional. Within a country of millions of people, it has been estimated that at least 80% of the adult population gets to gamble one way or another throughout the year. And most of this gambling happens on one of the many slots machines that are available throughout the country. These machines, nicknamed pokies, are so ubiquitous that you would be able to find entire pubs dedicated to them, with drinks simply being a nice bonus. If the real world is not enough, a number of people who play Australian slots online should tip you off to how popular slots are, and there are millions of these people. This has been true for years and now it seems like a chunk of the population is tired of the Australians spending a lot of time and money on slots, more because of the danger it poses to public health, but also because of the economic implications that follow unhealthy gaming.
The protest among the general populace has been mounting slowly. It is hard to gain traction when most of the population either does not care or actually enjoys playing with pokies. But the movement against slots machines has been growing quickly and now it seems to be approaching a breaking point, where a significant part of the population is voicing their opinion that there should be more control of the industry and that people should be discouraged from joining the industry.
Placing limits on slots outside of casinos
While the rules across the country have yet to be established, the local councils and municipalities are already taking action against slots in pubs and other public places. The outspoken population of certain cities like Hamilton has managed to get the city council to start reviewing their policy. Specifically, this addresses the issues that are associated with the class for slots within the municipality, which are the aforementioned and highly disliked pub and public location pokies. This has been counted as a big victory for the public, as these pokie places are what most believe the areas where people end up losing most of the money. Some have issues with the fact that these places are not officially categorized as casinos. They believe this allows such venues freedoms that would not and could not be afforded to actual casinos, resulting in them being much more harmful than officially registered and categorized casinos.
While people believe that reviews such as these are victories, others believe them to be an annoyance. Many within the industry believe that the industry contributes a great amount of money to the overall output of the country. The industry is after all highly populated within Australia – companies for manufacturing said slot machines, the casinos, and companies that demonstrate said slots and so on and so on. It is true that a significant portion of the money is being contributed to the economy through these industries, but the people who are going against the slots industry are doing so because they believe this money could be contributed otherwise.
These people believe that the money that is so easily spent by such big parts of the population of pokies could have been used otherwise. ONly if the locals who were spending this money got the chance to not spend this money on pokies, they would be able to contribute to the local economy through consuming alternative good or by paying for important services.
These defenders of the local economies believe that the best way to go about protecting these people is from preventing venues from providing these services. They believe that the pubs, which have the lowest requirement of entry, that provide the pokies for play should not be allowed to operate any longer, at least in the shape that they are operating right now.
And yet their demands seem to end when it comes down to specifics. The gambling industry within Australia is immense and creating specific legislation that would limit even the local businesses from operating on the scale that they are on, without causing damage to the economy is not going to be an easy feat. More so, pokies are an incredibly popular product within Australia, and it might be quite an unpopular move if the government decides to limit access to them. Furthermore, knowing that there is easy access to said pokies online, and knowing that only foreign companies are able to provide online casino services to locals in Australia, it means that the money will start leaving the country and going abroad, which might cause further chaos within the economy itself.
All of this is to say that, even if there is a backlash, there is no easy and no single solution to the issue. While it might be true that the economy would benefit from a reduction in gambling, it would also suffer from people looking for alternative ways to access their favorite type of entertainment.