Australians are considered to be the most gambling people in the world – on average, about $1,500 is spent per person annually (this is the highest figure among all countries), not counting online casinos (there are a lot of players from Australia on popular sites). There are about twenty legal casinos in this country (the number of under-the-table gambling houses is difficult to imagine), as well as over twenty thousand slot machines. The gaming industry brings the country’s economy more than $20 billion a year – a great figure according to the population of continent itself (about 25 million people).
Gambling in Australia started to exist when the first settlers visited it. Which is not surprising, the continent was originally a British colony for criminals who are known for their inclination to excitement. The primary gambling passion there was horse racing, a part of British legacy. By the beginning of the 20th century, major hippodromes were already in every city, the stakes were simply fabulous because of the specific characteristics of the people that entered Australia. Society was divided into those who managed to seize power and resources (becoming extremely rich) and those who lived near the poverty line.
1880 became the year of the lottery, which started the next stage of gambling spread. Remarkably, only one company – “Tattersall’s” – was engaged in lottery organization for a very long time due to governmental restrictions. Lotteries quickly became popular among all segments of the citizens, which led to their full legalization.
Slot machines in the country appeared in 1956, even earlier than the first legal casino, which opened only in 1970s. A wave of sets swept the continent and in a short time they could be found everywhere: in gambling houses, cafes, bars. Currently, about 25% of all machines in the world are located in Australia.
The first casino was opened in 1973. The motives that guided state authorities in the legalization of casinos were the opportunities of financial investments into the tourism sector. Nowadays Australia is considered to be the heaven for players. One of the worldwide largest gaming complexes is Crown Melbourne, which was opened in 1997. There are more than 350 gambling tables and 5,000 slot machines on its territory.
Casinos on the water can also be found in the country. Special ships are equipped with various forms of games, including poker, roulette, blackjack, slots, etc. For example, ship casinos often hold a variety of international tournaments, which attract a lot of people.
Sports betting was illegal in the country before the 1980s. But over time, state authorities began to allow the production of sports betting, but only in those bookmakers who had a license for everything. When playing in the tote, bets on the success of the animal races are placed not only on horses, but also on crabs and lizards.