What is the Maximum Bet on Poker Machine Australia Casino?

max bet

Have you ever sat back and wondered; if there is a maximum bet you can wager on the pokies across Australia? The question is what is the maximum bet on poker machine Australia casino? Is one that many have asked and one we will be answering today for you.

Before embarking on delivering the information about what is the maximum bet on poker machine Australia casino; we need to look at two parts. That is to say, the first part is the current maximum bet on a poker machine; and the second is the legislation for future maximum bets.

Currently, the maximum bet on a poker machine in Australia sits at ten Dollars. This means that for anyone who bet on a poker machine you cannot wager more than ten dollars; but you can wager as much as you wish in one session. This is true that not all pokies allow such high maximum bets; and you need to find a high denomination pokie that allows for such bets.

Low to Medium Bets

Low to Medium Bets
Low to Medium Bets

In addition, many pokies sit in the low to medium denomination bets; where the maximum is either one dollar or five dollars for example; it is only when the high denomination pokies are available that you can wager up to ten dollars ago.

The above is the current legislation; but there have been talks over the last couple of years to change the maximum bet amount; and reduce it from the current ten dollars down to only one dollar. The argument for this is that it will reduce gambling and the impacts of money lost through gambling. It probably reduces the jackpots on each pokie or the frequency of the jackpots.

Updates on Max bet amount

The Greens have tabled a bill in the Victorian parliament that would introduce a maximum bet of $1 per spin for the state’s 30,000 poker machines. While the bill is almost certain to fail; the introduction of $1 maximum bets would allow the poker machine industry to focus on providing enjoyment and fun to patrons; a claim it can’t, in good faith, make at the moment.

Poker machines in pubs and clubs are supposedly entertainment options for patrons; one of a number of diversions intended to provide harmless amusement. As currently configured, however, they produce potential harm for 30% of regular users. This is highly inconsistent with their supposed purpose.

In Victorian maximum bet is $5

Club and pub poker machines have a $5 maximum bet in Victoria. It means they can readily accrue $600 average net revenue per hour. In NSW, with maximum bets of $10 per spin, they can make an average of $1200 per hour. Naturally, the revenue they make is equivalent to the losses incurred by users; across Australia, club and pub poker machines account for 54%, or $11 billion, of our annual gambling losses of $20.5 billion.

This is a staggering amount of money, especially when the machines concentrates in the most disadvantaged suburbs. One of the principal reasons for this is that working-class suburbs are overwhelmingly subject to the colonisation of traditional social spaces (in clubs and pubs) by the poker machine industry.

The last federal attempt to reign in the almost unlimited money-making capacity of poker machines was the introduction of a pre-commitment system to allow gamblers to decide how much they wanted to spend before they started gambling. This – not unreasonable – proposition gets fierce resistance from the gambling industry, and ultimately turns down.

However, this push began with independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie’s request for the introduction of a $1 maximum bet. It was later on translated by then-prime minister Julia Gillard’s office into an agreement to introduce pre-commitment.

Productivity Commission proposes $1

The $1 bet was also proposed by the Productivity Commission and by the federal parliament’s Joint Select Committee into Gambling Reform, which Wilkie chaired. A select committee of the Tasmanian parliament also gave it a positive review but did not recommend its adoption because of the reform moves then underway at the national level.

The original evidence for $1 bets in an Australian context came from a study by the University of Sydney’s Alex Blaszczynski and colleagues in 2001 and funded by the NSW gambling industry. This report, for the Gaming Industry Operators Group, was a response to suggestions by the NSW regulator to modify poker machine characteristics in order to reduce harm.

Positive Effects of $1 Maximum bet

However, the Blaszczynski report suggests there are can be positive effects from the $1 maximum bet, and from some other machine modifications. It turn out that these were preliminary results and should be subjected to verification by further research. Subsequent scholarly articles by the same research team suggested that reductions in maximum bets produced a positive harm-minimization effect without reducing amenity for non-problem gamblers.

We can also learn from the British example, where pokie machines are categorised according to their maximum bets and prizes, and permitted in specific venues according to such categorisation. There is currently great concern in Britain about high impact gambling machines in betting shops and for good reason. Fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) allow bets up to £100 with maximum prizes of up to £500.

In 2010-11, these machines accounted for £1.3 billion of the £1.9 billion spent on pokie machines outside casinos (69%), despite constituting only about 24% of those machines. FOBTs averaged revenue of more than £40,000 per year compared to the average revenue of no more than £13,000 for machines with maximum bets of no more than £1 or £2, and maximum prizes of between £70 and £500.

The current $5 maximum bet was introduced into Victoria between 2008 and 2010 without fanfare and without industry opposition. Despite claims to the contrary by the gambling lobby, a $1 maximum bet could implement at modest cost to the industry if phased in over a period of time, as the Greens bill proposes.


The introduction of a $1 maximum bet for poker machines might not end problem gambling, but it would certainly reduce its harmful effects since 80% of problem gambling is associated with poker machine use. It is highly likely to reduce the harm experienced by gamblers and limit the uptake of new problem gamblers. After all, chasing huge losses is one of the common early stages in a problem gambling career.

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About the author

Guy Marlow