When Were Poker Machines Introduced in NSW?

when were poker machines introduced in nsw

Australia lost an unprecedented $14.5 billion on poker machines this financial year, and NSW alone was responsible for more than half that loss. That figure does not include gambling losses from casinos or horse and greyhound racing betting – only poker machines make up this total loss figure, leaving other forms of gambling like casinos or horse/greyhound racing betting as smaller contributors to our national economy. Although public policy in NSW may seem more generous than other states’, its generous nature invites criminals while prioritising industry profits ahead of people’s wellbeing.

Analysis by Wesley Mission has found that in NSW’s nearly 86,640 poker machines alone, each machine generated on average an estimated profit of $44,265, according to an initial six month analysis by this charity. That amount equates to the annual salary of radiographer or public relations manager and more than twice what nurses make per hour of service. Most lucrative machines can be found in Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield and Cumberland council areas – each of which boast low incomes and high rates of domestic abuse, homelessness and child poverty – while Canterbury-Bankstown machines appear in Canterbury-Bankstown council areas which boast low incomes with high rates of domestic abuse domestic abuse homelessness and child poverty rates.

No doubt these machines have become a focal point for anti-gambling campaigns, yet what is it about their design or profits that causes so much concern?

As recent events have illustrated, the answer lies within a complex combination of factors. Political leaders still hold onto gambling industry customers dearly; furthermore, researchers continue to discover new and alarming ways that make pokies even more addictive; therefore it’s time for a fresh approach and Labor should stop hiding behind biased trials that favor industry interests.

When were poker machines introduced in NSW The first public appearance of what would eventually become poker machines appeared in Melbourne newspapers in 1895 when Frederick Hart Pollock advertised them for sale at his pub Her Majesty’s Hotel on Swanston Street. By the early 1900s, they had spread across most Australian colonies; although in 1898, NSW Government and other colonial governments passed legislation against them. After several years had passed, a magistrate issued a warning to a licensee of a club hotel in Winton in Queensland who allowed use of “poker machines”, even though such machines violated public morals and broke laws. Poker machines had become common in NSW pubs and clubs by then. Pokies quickly spread across Australia during the following decades and now account for approximately two-thirds of gambling revenues across Australia – representing an immense waste of funds that could instead go toward community services, education and healthcare initiatives. It’s time to put this money back where it belongs!

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