You can never have enough Pokies in Australia!Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 09:29
The final decision will be made by the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation.
Fighting for the Cause
RSL sub-branch president Ash Power will present his case to the commission during a two-day hearing starting on Monday in Melbourne, aiming to convince members the extra pokies would not lead to gambling problems in Wangaratta.
In productive conversations with councillors as far back as before 2013, the revenue from extra pokies was always a vital part of the plan to move the sub-branch from its small base on Victory Parade into the Sydney Hotel.
“I was a bit surprised by the decision. The plan hasn’t changed … We strongly believe in what we’re doing.” He said.
The RSL sub-branch had offered to increase its community contributions to $25,000 per year and get behind any gambling support services.
Lieutenant General Power said without extra pokies revenue, the RSL may have to sell the Sydney Hotel and go back to its old building, which was too small for a growing membership base.
“Up until a couple of years ago, we were struggling financially,” he said.
“We’re going to build a real community asset … (but without the extra revenue) I think we’d end up where the club was a few years ago.”
The VCGLR is expected to make its final decision soon.
A little bit about ‘Pokies’
In Australia "poker machines" or "pokies" are officially termed Gaming Machines. Australian-style gaming machines frequently use video displays to simulate physical reels, usually five. These machines have additional bonusing and second-screen features such as free games and bonus levels. They also allow for multiple lines (up to 200) or multiple ways (up to 3,125) to be played.
On multiway games, players play the entire position of each reel instead of fixed lines or patterns. For instance, if a player plays 1 reel on a 243-way game, they receive three symbols in the first reel which pay anywhere in the three positions, while all other reels pay in the centre only, with unused areas darkened. On the other end of the scale, if the player plays 5 reels, symbols can appear anywhere in the window and will pay as long as there is one in each reel. Most games however still require the symbols appearing left to right, sometimes this even includes scatters. Scatter symbols still pay the same as per conventional games, multiplying their pay amount by the total bet and the amount of ways/reels played. Other multiway games give you, even more, ways by using a 4x5 or 5x5 pattern, where there are up to 5 symbols in each reel, allowing for up to 1,024 and 3,125 ways to win respectively. Aristocrat calls these games Xtra Reel Power and Super Reel Power respectively. These games typically cost more than their 243 way Reel Power counterparts. Recently, IGT has also started to manufacture multiway games. Gaming machine manufacturer Konami Australia also made an alternative way of gaming by using patterns, where symbols pay adjacent to one another. Most of these games have a hexagonal reel formation, and much like multiway games, any patterns not played are darkened out of use. On both systems, scatter symbols still pay in the darkened areas just like standard machines where scatters don't have to appear on a payline.
The laws regulating the use of gaming machines in Australia are a matter for State governments, and as such, they vary between States.
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