Pokies, otherwise known as slot machines, are by far the most popular casino game worldwide. All around the globe, online gamers and casino gamers flock to the slots section to try their luck on some of the latest and most innovative slot games, as well as some of the old-skool classics.
The reason for their immense popularity is simple, the gameplay is easy to understand, the themes and imagery are very entertaining, and there are some enormous jackpots up for grabs. In different countries, pokies can sometimes have a slightly different place in the local culture. Even in countries where gambling is illegal, and you can’t access online casinos, you’ll usually find a strong gambling culture.
This article will explore how slot machines are known and just how popular they are in several different countries around the world.
Gambling has long been a part of the English culture, and for decades, pubs up and down the country would feature a brightly lit slot machine, locally known as a “fruit machine” or “fruity.” In recent years, pubs have stopped hosting these machines and they have become more of a family setting, and gamers have moved on to fixed-odds betting terminals, colloquially known as FOBTs . These machines – which are slightly controversial – offer terrific odds on a large range of slot games, and can be found in virtually any UK bookmaker.
Since the UK has pretty relaxed online gambling laws, local players have taken to playing slot machines at online casinos. Most of the top online casinos are available in the UK, and it offers a very convenient alternative to playing at a fixed machine.
In Turkey, online and local gambling is heavily regulated, which has severely affected the local gambling industry. However, despite government attempts to completely ban all forms of online gambling, the market has still managed to flourish underground.
Turkish gamblers love slot games and blackjack, and are still able to play on online casinos around the world, at the risk of a penalty. Untraceable Bitcoin, and digital wallets have helped Turkish players be anonymous online, and helped Turkish players to have accounts with online casinos, as the Turkish Lira is rarely accepted.
There is one corporation which is licensed to offer gambling games in Turkey, Millî Piyango İdaresi. This company offers a variety of lottery games and a betting service.
Despite fierce attempts to remove gambling from the local culture, it’s still possible to find a growing industry in Turkey. However, it’s mostly clandestine and online casinos are accessed using Tor or VPNs.
Japan is well known for its infatuation with arcade style games, and many of the industry’s most popular and well known games originate from the island. Recently, Japanese developers have created their own unique style of video slot games, which are a variation of the classic arcade games. Up and down the country, one can find slot machines, usually in the adult section of arcades and amusement centres, or in pachinko parlors.
The main incentive to create this new style of game was to get around Japan’s strict gambling laws. Regular gambling is illegal in Japan, but the pinball style game is exempt since it’s a variation of the culturally protected Pachinko. Also, the prizes are special tokens, since receiving a cash prize would be illegal. However, these tokens are accepted by most shop owners in lieu of cash.
Despite the government’s attempt to criminalize gambling, there is still a strong gambling scene, albeit underground. There are several illegal online betting sites, and Japanese players can access foreign casinos with the help of a VPN or Proxy.
In contrast to the previously mentioned countries, gambling in Canada is completely legal and is a major part of the country’s economy and culture. In every province it’s legal to gamble, as long as the provider is licensed.
The country is littered with casinos, and they are usually filled with hundreds of slot machines and table games. Online gambling is also legal, and many top online casinos offer their services in Canada, and happily accept Canadian Dollars. In recent years, profits from Canadian players have been a major source of income for online casinos, and residents tend to love playing online slots and games.
In Canada, you can also find something called a Video Slot Terminal, (VLT). These are very similar to slot machines in terms of how they’re played, but they are pre-programmed to offer a set number of payouts, and the cash prize is random. They function as a computerized lottery game or scratchcard. VLTs became popular in the 1990s after the country’s first casinos were opened, and today you can find them in arcades, amusement centres, bowling alleys etc, all over the country.
Canada’s gambling capital is definitely Ontario. The province is home to some of the world’s finest casinos, including Casino Niagara which has over twenty four hundred different slot machines. The Province has become a major tourist destination for avid gamers, and Canada’s gambling industry looks set to flourish.
While Kiwis are known for their love of the pokies, the laws around gambling in New Zealand are complicated. All gambling that takes place in the country must be authorised under the Gambling Act 2003. Under this act, all gambling activities are divided into four categories depending on how much is turned over and what the maximum prize is. These categories all have different licensing arrangements.
Gambling at a casino within New Zealand is legal as long as the casino is regulated and licenced to provide these services. To be legally compliant, the gambling service needs to be regulated by the Lotteries Commission or authorised under the Racing Act 2003.
When it comes to online gambling, it’s illegal for New Zealand based gambling operators to offer remote gambling services to residents of New Zealand but it’s currently not against the law to gamble at overseas casino sites. It’s also not illegal for overseas gambling providers to offer their services to New Zealanders so you won’t get into legal trouble playing at an overseas based online casino.