Perth Casino Royal Commission Raises Questions About Poker Machines In WA

Poker Machines
Poker Machines
Poker Machines

Questions have been raised in the Perth Casino Royal Commission about whether there is much difference between poker machines. And the electronic gaming machines (EGMs) which are allowed at Crown Perth. Even harder to determine whether these EGMs are any less harmful and addictive than the pokies.

In addition, Patricia Cahill assumes that the prohibition of poker machines is prompt by Parliament’s concern that they were harmful. Also has characteristics that have the potential to cause harm. Moreover, there are many electronic gaming machines available to play only at Crown Perth.  And over the years, the number of EGMs has grown from 200 to 2,500 today.

Financial Reports At Crown Perth

Financial reports released this week show that gamblers spent more than $306 million on Crown Perth’s EGMs in the past year, an increase of almost 50 per cent from the previous year.

Every machine play at Crown must approve the casino watchdog, the Gaming and Wagering Commission (GWC), which follows guidelines saying that EGMs must:

  • must start by pushing a button
  • have no spinning wheel display
  • have games that take a minimum of three seconds to play
  • use symbols that don’t appear on poker machines in other states
  • give a minimum average 90 per cent return to player

Commission Members Failed To Explain Differences Of Poker Machine

The same laws banning poker machines fail to define what is and is not a poker machine. This has meant that many past and present GWC members have not found it easy to tell the difference between an EGM and a poker machine, as shown by their evidence to the royal commission this week.

Furthermore,  current GWS member  Jodie Meadows says that he doesn’t think the speed of play between the two is any different.  Moreover, Kelvin Harrison says the poker machine has the balls dropping down. And an electronic gaming machine is more of a visual thing, where it doesn’t create that fast drop-down speed of the ball.

Dr Livingstone Says Pokers Are Similar

Dr Livingstone says pokies are just one form of EGM. Their main difference being whether they show a picture of spinning reels or not. Also, he says all they’re doing is taking a random number generator and mapping it onto a different display, so essentially, they’re very similar. They have almost identical characteristics in the sense that they provide people with reinforcement and relatively high speed and allow relatively high stakes to be bet fairly rapidly.

Dr Livingstone says that the two types of machines are also addictive in the same way by activating the brain’s reward system.  And reinforcing gambling behaviour. Moreover, the people that make these machines have what amounts to an enormous laboratory to test them out on. That is all the punters in the world who use poker machines, slot machines, EGMS, casinos, clubs and pubs, and so on. And they endlessly refine and develop.

GWC Admits That They Could Have Done Better

But while the GWC is also responsible by law for minimizing the harm caused by gambling, it appears that this obligation did not always drive decision-making around EGMs.For example, when the GWC approve Crown Perth’s request to speed up EGM games in 2019, the royal commission was told there was more discussion about the economic impact than their effect on gamblers.

A former casino inspector, Nick Toyne, already tells the inquiry that EGMs are probably the most addictive form of gambling that exists and target the most vulnerable people. Given that their potential social dangers are one of the key reasons why the ban on pokies is introduced in the first place, it will be interesting to see if and how the WA government chooses to act concerning EGMs.

In conclusion, Perth Casino Royal Commission raises questions about the difference between poker machines and electronic gaming machines. And later on, the commission members failed to explain the differences. Apart from that, Dr Livingstone who studies gambling in Australia says that pokies are similar. He says that pokies are just one form of EGM.


How To Increase Chances Of winning pokies in Australia?

There is no guaranteed system of winning pokies but you can make use of the following helpful tips:

  • Play Higher Denominations
  • Bet the maximum
  • Decide the time to stop
Who owns poker machines in Australia?
Both Woolworths and Coles are the largest owner of poker machines in Australia with more than 15 000 machines.
Do poker machines make money in Australia?
Poker machines comprise a majority of 56,7 per cent of all dollars gambling in Australia.