Pokies are a product of Australia, but they have a common ancestor with their closest relative, the slot machine developed in the United States of America. That ancestor is called the Liberty Bell, and it was a very basic game which quickly became an instant wonder.
Soon after, the technology was brought to the shores of Australia and, even though these machines were illegal at the time, they were very popular with gambling enthusiasts.
The first slot machine game developed and introduced in Australia came in 1953; it was designed by a company called Aristocrat, and its name was the Clubman, soon (in 1955) to be replaced by the Clubmaster. The designer of the game was Joe Heywood.
Soon enough, only one year later, the government of New South Wales decided to legalize this segment of the gaming business, namely the gaming machines but only in registered clubs. This decision truly revolutionized the business of gambling in Australia and, consequently, in the rest of the world. Slot machines became legal to play and enjoy. Very quickly, pokie machines became a hit with consumers, regardless of the fact that they were very simple, basic machines with limited options and features. Nowadays, machines are colorful and ornate, with many intricate designs, but back then, machines did not even have lights before the early 60’s.
The following couple of decades were a standstill. Not much happened in the world of slot machine gambling. All pokie machines were either one or three or five lines with three reels spinning. All the interactivity was limited to simply pulling the bar, waiting for the machine to stop spinning and watching the result.
We had to wait for another small revolution until the mid-80’s. The biggest breakthrough since the introduction of the game were the first video slots. This machine came off the production line and instantly drew the attention of many gamblers. The video pokies had not only five reels, but many more lines and offered additional features, besides the basic game.
Eventually, pokie machines made their way into pubs. This was allowed by the governments of several Australian states in the early 90’s. Today you will see rows upon rows of pokie machines in just about every casino in Australia.
Online pokies history starts in the early 90’s, when the first Internet casinos were established and brought a new, soon to be widespread trend in the way of playing pokies. Online casinos have been with us for the past 20 years now, but Australian style pokies have been introduced to the online community in 2004 when the software company Microgaming developed and released the title Thunderstruck. This way, a new trend was started, and Australian pokies began to take over the Australian and the world market of online gambling. The next logical step for expansion was the mobile market. With the appearance of smart phones and tablets, pokies were quickly transferred to these platforms as well.