There And Back Again: The Amusing Tale Of Pokies In New Zealand

“Slot Machines are love, Slot Machines are life” is quite a bold statement a lot of the Green Continent’s folk agree with. They don’t actually call them machines though. New Zealanders prefer the term “pokies”. The name however does not change the game.

But is it not interesting to see where this passion began? How did the art of gambling dominate the continent? Why did people enjoy the thrill so much way before sites similar to ever existed?

The rise of pokies

It was the year 1991. Operation ‘Desert Storm’ rushed through Kuwait, the Soviet Union was falling apart, the Internet was allowed in unrestricted use and the entire world lost their minds about ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’.

1991 was also the year pokies or ‘one-armed bandits’ – that’s how we used to call them back in the day – were spread all across New Zealand.  Sure there were similar machines before but they were rather limited to hotels and dedicated casinos, hence were not as wide spread.

In 1989 the government has allowed for presentation of specialized gambling facilities across the land. Thus, slowly but surely gaming machines have began their conquest. They were limited to Wellington and the capital city in the nineties but, as the government made the decision to rid the capital of all gambling pokies have moved to a wider array of regions in 2001.

The modern shuffle

All of the brick and moraine casinos are udder heavy governmental control in New Zealand. This has allowed for pokies to leave traditional homes in the halls of hotels and enter the realm of pubs. Why? Because this way everyone’s winning: the jackpots are big and appealing white totally controlled and taxed by local authorities.

Just think about the numbers: when gambling peaked somewhat around 2003-2004 annual wins were an impressive sum – $10.056 billion US dollars. State treasury was appealingly enriched with the lion’s share of this sum.

The realm of online entertainment

Microgaming, a game development company has changed the rules of the game as they became the largest pokies provider in New Zealand, Their certified technologies, paired with vast availability over the interned have shifted gaming as we know it towards embracement of an entirely new era.

Microgaming began their conquest in 1994 while making baby steps in the new, untested at the time industry of online entertainment. Alas the rules of the game have changed in 2003 when the government banned national online gambling web-based sites and applications meaning the people of New Zealand were left with no choice but to go into foreign digital clubs. The national lottery website is all that remains native to the citizens of the green continent. The rest of the sites come from a plethora of countries.

Luckily vast Internet availability allows us to ignore the difference.

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