Online pokies in Australia
Online pokies in Australia
Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Australian online pokies provide the type of excitement Aussies have come to expect after years of playing their land-based poker machines. Not man of your favourite titles from the clubs, pubs, and casinos of Australia appear on the Internet, but some of them do. The fierce competition for customers in the online casino industry requires leading software design companies to develop hundreds of pokie titles.
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These often have a better house edge than what you would find offline, because players can find one of several hundred other websites which will accept their play, if they choose to leave. Australians playing the pokies online are gambling in a gamblers’ market, instead of dealing with a gaming monopoly. You might not be aware of these differences from the land-based poker machines, so I want to make a comparison between the two styles of gaming.
How Virtual Poker Machines Are the Same
Poker machines on the Internet use a random number generator, just like most land-based pokies have used since the early-to-mid 1980’s. The random number generator creates a random number which corresponds to a set reel placement. All the reels lining up are the product of a number being generated, which is then compared against a reel alignment. The RNG produces thousands of these per second. The instant you tap on the “Spin” button, the latest reel position is selected and that’s your result. That’s why you should ignore all the slot systems for finding ways to figure out when the symbols are going to align.
Name any sort of game you like in your local club, pub, or casino resort and you can find it on the Internet. You’ll find classic 3-reels, video pokies, progressive jackpots, 3D graphics, multispin games, and every game feature known to humanity. If you want bonus rounds, free spins, wild symbols, scatters, gamble features, and auto-play options, you can find these on the computer.
Penny pokies players will find all sorts of opportunities to play. High rollers and even whales can find operators who’ll take their bets. All the players in-between will find just the game for them. Some of the game providers, like IGT and Aristocrat, are even the same. In other words, the online niche is just like the offline niche.
How Do Online Pokies Differ?
The Internet version of poker machines differ in a number of ways. For instance, Aristocrat has a presence on the Net, but their selection of games won’t be the same, at least at the moment (they are a somewhat late arrival). At the same time, some of the big land-based pokies providers, such as Bally Technology, hardly has a footprint in computer gaming. For this reason, the selection of games won’t be quite the same as you’re used to in your local pub, club, or gambling resort.
That doesn’t mean the selection is limited. In fact, you’ll find an endless variety of titles and themes. Imagine all the funny game titles and flashy game boxes you’ve seen in gambling venues before and you’ll find ten times that number on the Internet.
Graphics and Sounds
No matter who great your computer monitor is, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to match the graphics of the brick-and-mortar poker machines. These expensive machines are meant to draw players with their flashiness and then dazzle them with their liquid crystal displays. Still, the graphics are excellent and the themes are inventive. If you play 3D pokies, you’ll find some of the characters on these games seem realistic, the computer graphics are rendered so well.
Jackpots and Other Payouts
You won’t find progressive jackpots as large as you’ll find with the Megabucks pokies you’ll find in Las Vegas. Megabucks boasts something like 8 or 9 of the biggest 10 jackpots in pokies history, in the offline niche. Those numbers tend to be in the USD $20 million to USD $30 million range. On the Internet, the biggest jackpot ever was at €17.8 million. The numbers go up all the time, so expect to see something in the range of €20 million in the not-so-distant future.
The biggest mobile jackpot ever was £1.4 million, which was recorded in August 2103. Previous to the current record, the record was £866,000, which was set in July 2013. You can probably see the trend. Mobile pokies are just now getting started, so you’ll see the record broken often in the next 24 to 36 months. At the moment, mobile poker machines won’t have the same size progressive jackpots, but it won’t take long for them to catch up.
The Legality of Online Gambling in Australia
Online gambling involving pokies is under the aegis of the Interactive Gaming Act 2001 (IGA). This makes it illegal to gamble over the Internet on casino gaming sites, poker rooms, or bookmaker websites. At the same time, Australia’s national authorities have long looked the other way. The wording in the IGA is geared mostly towards the gambling operators themselves, and there is nothing in the legislation that stipulates punishments for Australian’s playing for real money at international casino sites.
While no one has ever been prosecuted by the federal government for gambling violations, people should know about the IGA. If a casino operator was shut down or prosecuted, your casino account might be frozen for a time. State gambling laws can be more intrusive than the national government’s gaming statutes, so remember it’s your responsibility to know what the laws are in your jurisdiction and to comply with the local code.
You might be wondering who the leading companies are in the Australian online industry, if some of the biggest names from land-based gaming aren’t big players in the industry. The leading software provider in the world is Microgaming. This company licenses its technology to over 270 worldwide online casinos, bookmakers, bingo halls, poker sites, and mobile gaming websites. Microgaming has been in the business since 1994, making it the oldest casino software design company. The company also founded eCOGRA, an industry-led watchdog group which assures fairness in gaming for its associated sites. All casinos which use Microgaming software are members of eCOGRA.