Most countries do not have poker machines. Australia is unusual in using poker machines as its main form of gaming machine, in having so many of them, and in allowing them in non-gambling venues (“pubs and clubs”).
Australia has about 0.3% of the world’s population, but 2.5% of its gaming machines. If Japan’s pachinko parlours are excluded, Australia has 6% of the world’s machines.
Gaming machines come in a variety of styles and “intensities”. Of these, poker machines (called “jackpot machines”, “fruit machines” or “slot machines” elsewhere in the world) are typically high-intensity because gamblers can lose large amounts of money very quickly – up to $1,200 an hour on some Australian machines.
Across the world, most gaming machines are not poker machines. Other styles include machines that simulate lotteries or table games, or machines with such low stakes and payouts that they qualify as “amusements with prizes”. Unusually, Australia’s 196,000 gaming machines are almost all poker machines. Overall, Australia has 18% of the world’s poker machines.
About 835,000 of the world’s 1,076,000 poker machines are in dedicated gambling venues, such as casinos, race tracks, betting agencies and slot halls. The remaining 241,000 poker machines worldwide are in non-gaming venues, including 183,000 poker machines in Australia’s pubs and clubs. This represents 76% of the world’s pub and club poker machines.