Starting on the 31st of December, pokie players in South Australia would find that the maximum wager that can be placed on the gaming machines has been cut in half, now down to $5 a spin. This is a big cut to those who enjoy slots but for those opposed to the games, the decrease in wagering amounts is not enough.
The term pokies is used to refer to video gambling machines located throughout the country of Australia. According to media reports, any gaming machines that do not comply with the new wagering limit will be cut off. It is believed that as many as 500 machines will be shut off by the government.
Communities Minister Zoe Bettison has commented on the change in wagering amounts, stating that some people have developed a gambling problem as gambling is a popular Australian pastime. According to Bettison, by reducing the maximum wagering limit, the hope is to reduce the amount problem gamblers are able to lose while they are taking part in gaming via pokies. Officials who are opposed to pokies say they will continue to work to see the maximum limit reduced even further to an amount of just $1.
A $1 per spin betting limit was recommended by the Productivity Commission on the pokie machines back in 2010 as a way to reduce harm they feel is associated with the pokies. South Australia is located in the southern central portion of Australia and has a large population of around 1.7 million people.