Australians are fond of gambling and have a vibrant land casino industry of which the Gold Coast region is a prime location. It is said that on an average Australians spend more of their incomes on gambling than on petrol. Also about 20% of the land gaming machines are made in Australia. In spite of this background the Australian government has an antipathy to online gambling, which became law through The Interactive Gambling Act of 2000.
The situation is actually very ironic. The Australian government issues licenses to run online casinos from Australia, but prohibits those online casinos from signing up Australian players. Therefore players in Australia who want to gamble online have to do so at casinos hosted outside the country. The real Australian online casinos are hosted in gambling jurisdictions like Gibraltar, Malta and Kahnawake. The government is engaged in reviewing its policy on Australian online casinos as stated in The Interactive Gambling Act, but the news emanating in this regard is not very encouraging.
The offshore gambling sites that the Australian players wager on are not just global online casinos. These gambling sites qualify as Australian online casinos because they specifically target and cater to players from Australia. These domains are often distinct from the global domains and address the Australian online casino players using typical Australian colloquialisms. One of the classic examples is that the Australian online casinos will refer to slot machines as pokies.
There is an interesting piece of Australian gambling history as to how slot machines came to be called pokies. The first gambling machine was a poker machine developed by Sittman and Pitt in 1891. It was a five reel machine that used 50 playing card symbols. The Jack and Ten of Spades were removed to make it more difficult to get a high ranking poker hand. In Australia the term poker machines was shortened to pokies. In 1899 Charles Fey invented the Liberty Bell slot machine. These slot machines were placed next to the poker machines in pubs and other public places. In Australia the name pokies was given to the slot machines as well because of the similar mechanisms. As different types of slot machines were developed all were referred to pokies. Therefore Australian online casinos refer to online slot games as pokies.
Pokies are perhaps the most popular games at Australian online casinos but they are by no means the only games. Australian players like to wager on games like blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps at land casinos. Therefore Australian online casinos offer online variants of these games as well. Hence players need not travel to exclusive land casinos but can wager online from the comfort of their homes. Australian online casinos generally offer games simulated using software with random number generators. But many Australian players like live casino action. Therefore Australian online casinos also offer live dealer games that are played out at real tables and the videos are transmitted over the Internet to the players’ computers.
Australian online casinos offer other advantages to Australian players. The players can wager in Australian dollars and the bonuses are specified in their currency. Australian online casinos also offer promotions based on major Australian sporting events and this creates additional interest.