There is a life down under that is hardly known anywhere else. For example in the gambling halls, where money is gambled away like nowhere else.
The «Derrimut» in Sunshine near Melbourne is one of the typical Australian pubs that are full of slot machines to the last corner. The 60 electronic poker machines have names such as “Dragon Cash”, “Five Dragons” or “Secret Tomb”. But actually they just call the cigarette boxes «pokies» here. For many, they’re part of Aussie culture like surfing or barbecuing.
The name is far too harmless for what the machines do. In truth, money is gambled away here like nowhere else in the world. In 2017, every Australian lost an average of 1,324 domestic dollars (around 965 francs) while gambling. That was more per capita than in any other nation, twice as much as in the USA. For the whole country, that adds up to the equivalent of 15.8 billion francs. Half of that went to the 200,000 or so “Pokies”.
Daddling is a lonely affair. Even if one of the machines spits out a profit, hardly anyone looks up. One player jokes: “I don’t smoke. I do not drink. I don’t go out with bad men anymore. Somehow the money has to go. ” But she also says: “It used to be fun. Today I only get depression from it. You don’t win here. “
In the meantime, however, the “pokie” culture is seen by many Australians as a real problem. The Alliance for Gambling Reform even compares the national gambling industry to the gun lobby in the US.
One of their demands is that the maximum bet per game be limited to one dollar in the future. So far there have been up to ten, depending on the state. If you are fast, you can gamble around 862 francs on the machine in a single hour.