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15 June 2011

Australian Pokie Palace Players Profiled Party Time

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Wanted to a bit more about 'One Armed Bandits', found in Australian land based casinos, pubs and clubs...Ok, what's you're budget? $150... excellent. Good luck. Hit the pub, or online casino. If you want people interaction the pub is the best bet, but don't forget the online casino 'Live Dealer' options either. Now punter, get yourself in front of a pokie machine. Most pubs usually have about 50 OAB's (one armed bandits). There's all sorts of themed machines. What animal or warrior are you sir? How about you miss? Can we offer you some free chips? How about a $1 beer, as a token of our appreciation. Join our Players Club. It's free to join! Hey, check out the Turtle Treasure, with its cute Disney style graphics. Watch out punter, the next machine is the Black Rhino. Head to African. Oh aw, there's Cleopatra, the Egyptian babe goddess. Hell yeah, its the Rose Tattoo slot, and there's Angry Anderson's angry mug. Listen to those classic tunes being belted out. Go for broke, bet all lines, max bet. Shit I missed the jackpot, but got close. Another 10 spins on max. Yeah baby, 10,000 credits win. Should I "gamble" the win or not. Nah, but I will play another hour. Different machines appeal to different types of personalities. Me, I like Thor, Sinatra, The Godfather, Top Gun and Rambo, but I can only find them online. Cleopatra online is great too, because I can bet more online that at the casino or pub. Gaming firms invest millions of dollars creating machines that will appeal to the punter, old ones and newbies. What will be the next big thing? Burlesque, pro wrestling, Underbelly. According to the Productivity Commission, Australians poured almost $12 billion into electronic gaming machines (EGMs) across pubs, clubs and casinos last year. When compared with total gambling activity, they are far and away the nation’s favourite way to have a punt. So what makes them so enticing? Dr Charles Livingstone, from Monash University’s Department of Health Social Science, has developed research into the themes employed by manufacturers to get people playing their machines. Players get hooked to various machines and themes. If the pub or online casino doesn't have their favorite, they will soon leave for another place that has the one they are looking for. In the online world this is why lots of machines are showcased and reviewed, plus for SEO reasons. Livingstone says "If someone’s favourite machine isn’t available, then quite often they will leave and head for another venue." In research commissioned by the South Australian Independent Gaming Authority, Livingstone found two of the most popular pokies in that state were the Dolphin Treasure and Shogun machines. According to a study released last year by Gambling Research Australia, the most popular themes for gamblers relate to luck or winning money (27%), Egyptian and wildlife nature topics (each 15%) and themes of mystique and magic (11%). Problem gamblers, it reported, are more likely to place importance on a machine’s theme — preferring mystique, love or Asian-themed EGMs. While the study found that far-and-away the most appealing characteristic of a machine was whether it had been "lucky in the past", it also said the impact of branding could not be dismissed. As well as hiding the seriousness of the money factor and probability of winning or loosing, Livingstone says poker machine themes like Dolphin Treasure provide a feeling of escapism from everyday life. He also says different themes appeal to different segments of the gambling market and will cater to their needs: “Games with identical game maths but a different theme are commonly much less successful than the original games from which they’re derived,” he said. "Suggesting that the careful marrying of game maths and theme is a critical element of game design.".

Drip Feeder Machines...

The Dolphin Treasure with its bright blue colours and cute aquatic icons (starfish, seahorses, turtles) plays well to the middle-aged female demographic, says Livingstone: "I’ve seen players scratch the dolphin’s rostrum for good luck." These machines will often pay out in ways that cater to that market, says Livingstone. Machines like the Dolphin Treasure — such as the Indian Dreaming, with its pseudo-spiritualistic theme — offer small and regular payouts to keep players interested. The key to this kind if appeal is achieving maximum time on the machine, says Livingstone. A risk-averse, middle-aged female poker player would prefer to stay on a machine as long as possible, rather than bust out early. Similarly themed machines would include Mermaid, Brazil, Geisha, Fire Dancer. I still like Cleopatra the best.

The Big One...

These are the big wager machines, typically offering a $1 minimum stake for one spin, and are usually aimed at a younger, more aggressive gambling clientele. An example of this is the Shogun (or Shogun 2), which is a more macho-styled machine and will pay out less often but in bigger amounts. Other similarly branded machines include Taipan, Spartan, Heavyweight Champion and King of the Castle. There's a growing trend for Australian punters to hit the internet portals to find the machines they like the most, knowing that more money can be placed online, plus one doesn't even have to leave the home or office to enjoy a punt, and hopefully no fights in the home like at the pub! Do you prefer pokies at the casino, pub, online, or a bit of all the above? Tell us in the forum.

Readers, good punting, know your limits and have fun.

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