Aussies and gambling go hand in hand. In fact, online gambling is such a popular pastime we're quite surprised it hasn't been declared a national sport! Just kidding. In order to understand our nation's current fascination with wagering in all its forms, we'd have to take a step back to see where it all began…
Gambling first made its appearance in Australia during the nineteenth century, as Chinese and British settlers arrived on our shores. Along with their own languages, cultures and traditions, they brought along all kinds of interesting card and other wagering games. Horse racing was very popular in Britain at the time, and it didn't take long to gain a following in Australia. The first official horse race took place in Sydney in 1810, and it wasn't long before every major city in Oz had its own racing track.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Australians were engaging in numerous legal and illegal gambling activities, and our government recognised an opportunity to tap into this seemingly endless revenue stream. In order to provide the government with a means to regulate gambling activities and provide some competition for the underground Pokie halls and card clubs, the first national lottery was introduced in 1920. The people didn't take long to get on board and lotteries went from strength to strength as people clamoured for the chance to win that life-changing jackpot.
Pokies are by no means unique to Australia, but their name most definitely is. This Aussie favourite was first legalised in the 1950, and it wasn't long before legal Pokie halls drew in huge crowds and large amounts of cash. With the these establishments raking in big bucks on a weekly basis, our government could no longer ignore the potential benefits of gambling, in terms of generating money, encouraging tourism and creating jobs.
Australians' infatuation with gambling continued to grow stronger during the second half of the 20th century, and the first fully land-based casino opened to much fanfare in Hobart, Tasmania on 10 February 1973. The Wrest Point Casino became a thriving business, and a number of other hotels and resorts saw the opportunity to increase tourism and revenues by offering their guests entertainment in the form of a casino complex.
The digital era dawned, and along with it, the explosion of online gambling. While the first online casino saw the light in 1995, it wasn't until 1999 that the first Australian government-licensed casino, called Lasseters, went live. Lasseters set the bar and the race was on to raise it. Online gambling operators were constantly delivering new games, more convenient ways to play and bigger jackpots, and Aussies were lapping it up.
By the turn of the millennium, gambling addiction had become a real problem in Australia, with some opponents blaming the ease and convenience of online games. In 2001, the Interactive Gambling Act was passed, prohibiting all Australian online casinos from offering and advertising real money online gambling to Australians. Luckily the Act doesn't prevent Aussies from playing at other licensed casinos all over the world, and with a number of exciting games and life-changing jackpots on offer, some say online gambling is more popular than ever!
As you can see, Australians have a long history with the game, and it's one we're proud to continue by giving you access to the best online casinos we can find! So, are you ready to spin that wheel and make history today?