In Australia mechanical slot machines are known as pokies. This slang term originated from the term poker machine but officially, slot machines are known as gaming machines. Australian-format machine have their functions determined by independent state laws that set specific standards regarding pay out rates and minimum and maximum wagers, in order to protect the public. Australian-format machines frequently make use of digital displays to simulate 5 reel slots and allow up to 200 pay lines. Australian-format machine can often have up to 3125 multiple ways to pay configured on them.
The Multiway System for Australian-Format Machines
Aristocrat is one of the oldest and most well knows Pokie producers in Australia. Their games often feature the multiway system where players are not limited to fixed pay lines. They term the multiway game system Reel Power which features a standards 243 pay line configuration, Super Reel Power which features 3125 ways to win and the more common Xtra Reel Power which has 1024 ways to win. Multiway games can feature on 3 reel 5 row configurations, but many modern games offer a 4 by 5 and even 5 by 5 grid system that allows players to make use of the up to 3125 ways to win, with symbols paying out winnings for landing the game icons adjacent to each other, rather than just paying for left to right pay line configurations.
Australian-Format Machines and Gaming Law
State Law places very specific regulations on pay out rate and minimum and maximum wagers. For instance in Queensland, Australian-Format Machines must provide a return to player of 85%. Pokies located in casinos however, must conform to a return to player of 90%. In 2007, legislation was introduced that prohibited Australian-Format Machines from accepting $100. Australian-Format Machines are also banned from using Auto play features, where players can keep the reels spinning by either holding down a button, or letting the machine itself spin until player credit is exhausted. There are exceptions to these rules.
Crown Casino does allow players to wager with $100 notes if they are in possession of the Crown Casino VIP loyalty card. Australian-Format Machines must also allow players to get a display of the game rules and pay tables including the odds of the possible combinations. There is also strong interest in the government to enforce inclusion of personal displays that show players how much they have wagered as well as total losses.
Bonuses and Australian-Format Machines
Due to the digital displays incorporated in Australian-format machines, there are multiple bonus features present for players. These often include second screen bonuses and jackpots. Scatter symbols are also commonly used on the multiway games. Australian-format machine also makes use of standard wilds and free spins.
Revenue from Australian-Format Machines
Australian gaming laws are independently regulated by each state’s government. New South Wales was the first state in the country to legalize pokies in 1956. There are an estimated 96 000 Australian-format machines in New South Wales alone, nearly half of all Pokie machines in the country. They can be found in registered pubs and clubs across the territory. These machines generate about $1 billion in additional revenue for the state, making up more than half of the $1.6 billion generated in total gambling activity in the state. Country wide Australian-format machines generate about $3 billion annually, with a total income of $19 billion generated by all gambling activity combined.