When Did Pokies Come to Queensland

when did pokies come to Queensland

Queensland is one of the many pokie strongholds of Australia. Today it generates several million in revenue annually. And as many today know of the huge success of pokies in the state, very few know of its origins. Little is known about when and how pokies became a thing in the Sunshine State. The history of the poker machine in the state is pretty overlooked and almost irrelevant in society today.

Fortunately, this article uncovers when and how pokies came to stay in Queensland. Hop in and learn all the major circumstances surrounding it! And maybe learn where to get 100 free spins no deposit in Australia 2023.

Before the Poker Machine

The poker machine was relatively a foreign concept in Australia, as a whole, until the 1950s. Until then, gambling in Oz took the form of dice and card games in game houses. Those, however, were all prohibited by the government. Then in 1956, the poker machine was introduced in New South Wales. This implementation was well contested by lawmakers at the time and almost didn’t hold. However, an increase in revenue and tourism was recorded. This ultimately made the move requiring gamblers an acceptable one in the state.

When Did Poker Machines Come to Queensland?

The Sunshine state became one of the first few to start gambling with poker machines in Australia. This followed the introduction of poker machines in Tasmania and New South Wales. This drop in revenue was mostly a result of the large migration of Queenslanders. They left to southern and western Australia, believed to be influenced by pokies. 

Subsequently, the Sunshine state government started re-establishing gambling-based revenue. First, they legalized commercial casinos around the mid-1980s. This went a long way in solving its problems. However, poker machines were now the deal. In 1992, the state would go on to legalize the poker machine.

In all, Sunshine state officially opened its doors for the pokie machine in 1992. This happened after a few years of legislating commercial casinos. Here, locals could start gambling officially. And the following is the first and the oldest land-based casino in the state’s history.

The Star Gold Coast: First Commercial Casino

The Star Gold Coast was in existence in 1985 in Australia. It was initially known as Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino. It was officially recognized in February of 1986 as first commercial casino in state. The casino also had a remarkable opening with over 10,000 people in attendance. Citizens of the state could play poker machines weekly. Of course, they would have the appropriate regulations in place.

Who Brought Poker Machines to Queensland?

Legislation of poker machines was spearheaded by then-Premier, Wayne Goss. Goss was in office from 1989, until February 1996. His justification for legislating the poker machine at the time was that it was a long-standing state Labor policy. Nevertheless, Mr. Goss later expressed his discontent with the way poker machines turned out to create a lot of problem gamblers in the state.

In his words, Mr. Goss termed these poker machines “a scourge”, as he felt they had done more damage than good. In all, the former Premier stressed that citizens that play poker machines weekly and even more frequently are the ones that cannot afford to. In that light, the State’s government has long made efforts to reduce the number of poker machines that are operational in the state.

Problems Facing Pokies in Queensland Today

Since the legislation of poker machines in 1992, the enterprise has recorded so much progress with poker machine returns. However, the industry has also wreaked its fair share of damages as it has produced a negative impact on Sunshine state and Australia at large. Chief among these negative returns is the massive losses, recorded among poor and middle-class citizens.

In the past three-five years, the Sunshine State has recorded tremendous numbers in losses. This number reached a peak by the end of 2021, seeing a record $2.7 billion lost in Sunshine state from poker machines alone, similar to American gamblers fighting inflation in casinos, earning $15 billion. This and the increasing number of problem gamblers who lose playing poker machines weekly on average are just the reason former Premier, Mr.Goss termed poker machines in the state a scourge.

In all, the numbers locals lose playing poker machines is on the high side, which is tainting the history of the industry. Fortunately, the following tips will go a long way in educating you on ways you can avoid poker, as a citizen of Sunshine state.

Only Play on Regulated Poker Machines

All legal casinos from southern to western Australia are properly regulated by government agencies. However, not every casino in the Sunshine state is legal and regulated. Not every casino is even requiring gamblers who know when to quit. Some unlicensed casinos make more money off problem gamblers. After all, these gambling houses are not held accountable too often. 

In all, you should avoid any unlicensed casinos. This is also true for unregulated land-based or online casinos. What can you do?

  • Avoid casinos with very high poker machine returns.
  • Play with a budget.
  • Only risk what you can afford to lose.
  • Join proper gambling communities.
  • Take long breaks from poker machines occasionally.


Pokies gradually made their way from New South Wales to Sunshine state in 1992. Initially, they were an economic incentive. This was preceded by the legislation and establishment of commercial casinos. So far, poker games have been a huge success here, but not without adverse effects. The history and timing behind the success of poker games in the state are truly newsworthy.

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