Australia’s Slot Machines, aka Pokies, not so bad after all?

Research proves Aussie Govt’s claim to ‘Most Pokies per Capita’ false.

Australia not home to most pokies per capitaThe Australian government has spent years, and countless funds, fighting the ills of slot machines; or pokies, as they call them. Time after time, anti-gambling politicians and lobbyists have claimed that Australia’s overabundance of gaming machines is to blame. The nation alleges to have the most pokies in the world, with as many as 20% of global installments, and the ‘most poker machines per capita‘.

There’s been no push to dispute those claims either. After all, it would take mountains of documented research to do so. As it turns out, someone has done all the work, and they’ve been doing it for years. Australia’s Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) authors an annual World Count of Gaming Machines, and the latest edition was just released.

Research Proves AU’s ‘Most Pokies per Capita’ False

According to InterGame, GTA just finished putting together their extensive research report that indicates Australia’s claims are false—again. Aussie’s pokie prevalence is not just below the highest level, but quite a few rungs down the ladder.

The GTA’s 2018 World Count of Gaming Machines has Japan topping the totem pole of most slot machines with 4.52 million. They don’t call them slots, either. In Japan, “slot machines” are technically illegal. Instead, they have games that operate similar to slots that are called “pachinko” or “pachislot”.

Second on the list is the United States, with 884,239. Italy ranks third with 463,931, followed by Germany in fourth with 274,500, and Spain in fifth with 201,381. Australia comes in at the number six spot, home to 197,021 pokies. That’s 2.53% of global installments; well under the 20% claim, and in line with GTA’s findings in recent years.

Rounding out the top ten are UK in number seven with 182,916, Canada eighth with 100,591, Argentina in ninth with 98,117, and finally Peru in tenth with 84,396.

As for Australia’s claims of having the most pokies per person, that one is even further from the truth.

The top two spots belong, unsurprisingly, to remote locations. St. Maarten, a tropical tourist hot-spot in the Caribbean islands, is home to 1 slot machine per 13 people, while the Finnish Aland Islands has 16 per capita. The first major nation, coming in at third, is Japan at 28, followed by Monoco at 31, and Macau (jurisdiction of China) at 37. Australia is further down the list in the tenth spot with 125 people per poker machine.

Additionally, despite Australia’s proclamation of having too-high max bet limits, the study found the Land Down Under actually has some of the lowest max bet limitations on the planet.

“This survey confirms that Australian gaming machines have some of the world’s lowest maximum bet limits which is consistent with what we have found in previous surveys,” says GTA Chief Executive Ross Ferrar, who lead the research team in putting together the information.

“The World Count of Gaming Machines 2018 is a valuable source of factual data about global gaming machine numbers,” said Ferrar, who points out that the group’s 2017 World Count survey (and many before it) dispelled the same myths.

He goes on to explain that the data is centered around legally installed machines in regulated jurisdictions. “Where illegal machines exist, or where there is no regulation, the count is only based on the numbers of machines that can be verified.”

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