Some people say that gambling is so integrated into Australian culture that they should add pokie chips to the flag. Since the colonial times people have been playing card games both for fun and for a profit, which includes classics like hearts, fish, euchre or five hundred, which certainly many Australians have familiarity with. Poker, however, wasn’t really popular until the 21st century, let’s see why.
Until the rise of the digital age in the 1990s, poker in Australia was limited to Hollywood movies and people who would have a connection to the United States, so poker rooms and clubs weren’t really a thing there. With the popularization of the internet in Australia, online card games also propagated quickly, and within a few years most people down under became familiar with all poker variations, such as Omaha, Texas Hold’em, 7 card stud and draw poker.
Melbourne was the home site of the first open poker tables in 1997 in the Crown Casino and it’s first championship was hosted later that year with a $74,000 prize pool. Four years later, the Australian Poker Championship was founded, paying $200,000 in prizes.
In parallel, virtual poker in Australian online casino was also turning popular. The breakthrough, however, happened in 2005 when Joe Hachem won the World Series of Poker, taking back home a prize of $7.5 million and certainly inspiring many other Australians to improve their poker game.
Since 2013, the World Series of Poker Asia Pacific Tournament is the main poker championship that happens in Australia. Before that, all major championships happened only in Las Vegas, but policy was adapted as pokies became extremely popular in the Pacific as well.
It’s been over two decades since Australia took its first steps into poker. The top physical casinos compete very well with the High roller casino online. Nowadays, players are drawn to a highly diverse range of tournaments and game types, as well as more advanced and smoother gaming software in their computers and mobile phones.
Most Australians gamble
It is estimated that over seventy percent of the population engage in some form of gambling in Australia, which brings over $16 billion in taxes annually, representing almost eight percent of all state and territory taxation revenue. Other statistics show that about four percent of the population play the pokies at least once a week. With this popularity and impressive revenue source, it is somewhat likely that gambling laws will be reviewed to allow more companies to enter this business.
New South Wales has the second largest number of gambling machines in the world, after Nevada. Between December 2017 and May 2018, these machines have brought over $1.1 billion profit to NSW Clubs, which represents over 57% of the entire revenue.
Currently, online poker rooms cannot be registered to Australia, limiting it only to overseas jurisdictions. Nevertheless, these websites offer the best and latest selection of online poker and other games rooms and tournaments for all skill levels at any time of the day. Plus, they also allow deposits and withdrawals in Australian Dollars.
Interesting related article: “What is a Wager?“