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Pokies or Slots? What is the difference?

New Zealand’s history of gambling is interesting. Kiwis have been trying luck and gambling for a long time. An interesting fact is that the word pokies is most likely came from the poker world. Initially, these were slot machines, that many people played in bars and pubs. And the owners of such places, attracted new customers this way. These were the basic machines with a handle that spins the reels and launch the game. Basically, some patrons tell their pals “I’m going out for a round of pokies”. After that, the name stuck.

Although slot machines were originally played in Australia, it was illegal in the 1900s. In 1956, New South Wales legalized gambling, opening a new era of gambling across New Zealand, and Australia. Almost 200,000 slot machines and pokies were working in Australia by 1999. Actually, this was 5 times more compare to the United States. Therefore, Las Vegas was lagging behind the competition, providing fewer slots than Australia.

Top 5 Casinos with Pokies






Slot vs Pokies in New Zealand and Australia

If you are wondering if there is anything special about named slot machines, we will reveal some secrets about this. There is a theory about the origin of this popular word. As history says, all slot machines worked with coins, which players had to play with, by putting them into the machine. In the case of winnings, the coins fell out as a win.

Many players believe that the word pokies came from the players who were poking their fingers at the machine, in order to make them pay out coins at random. It might sound weird, however, it makes sense.

Online Slots and Online Pokies

At the beginning of the 1900s, slot producers added more features to the slots such as lights. Due to the technological boom, the gambling experience became more interactive and colorful. Sounds effects, as well as fascinating themes of popular movies, games, or books, became an integral part of any slot machine. Moreover, it has become necessary for the gambling industry to introduce new laws and regulations in order to protect gamblers from fraud or any other type of manipulation with money.

For example, slot machines that were taking big notes of $100 were banned in Australia, due to the problem with gambling addiction. Many gamblers got into a financial mess as they couldn’t stop playing on autoplay. So, we can consider that slots and pokies have just a little difference. There is only a difference that lies in local terminology. The Aussies and Kiwis call the slot machines “pokies”, while the rest of the world calls them slots.

In addition, another difference is the difference between the regulations in Australia and New Zealand to support players. In essence, some slot machines will warn the player when he has been playing for a long time. This will help players to be more disciplined.

What is the difference between modern live games and slots?

The variety of entertainment offered within the gambling industry is easy, and confusing at the same time. In this article, read about the main differences between slots and live games.

Online casinos are rapidly gaining popularity in jurisdictions where this type of activity is legal. So, in a relatively short period from the mid-90s to the present day, gambling content has attracted a huge number of players around the world. The gambling industry has come a long way and has yet to reach its full potential. Technological development is also actively contributing to the growth of popularity, and modern games are acquiring an ever wider range of interesting functions. Recently, live games have begun to satisfy the wishes of a demanding audience of players.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the critical difference between slots and live games.

People and algorithms

The main advantage of live games is that the real-time mode does not involve algorithms, random number generators, or other programs. This is evidence of fair gameplay, and no one can control the winning chances.

In most cases, the hosts on the other side of the screen are experienced dealers, similar to land-based casinos. They comment on all the events of the game, thus communicating with the players, and keep their attention for a long time.

Where does the broadcast take place? Locations can range from dedicated rooms in land-based casinos to stand-alone studios with desired interiors. Based on experience, most live game providers prefer the second option.


The motivation of players to participate in live games can be varied. It ranges from boredom and the possibility of earning additional income to the need for communication and attachment to the special atmosphere of the casino. The problem is that not every city in the country where gambling is legalized allows casinos to operate. and secondly, casinos may not be available to everyone. In such places, do not forget about the dress code, entrance fee, transportation costs, incompatibility with the work schedule, etc.

In most cases, slot games give a sense of risk. But it is almost impossible to feel the atmosphere of a real casino. Some games simply lose their charm even in the most complex versions. Playing live with dealers energizes the participants emotionally. And then, all European users need is Internet access. So you can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a real casino, as close as possible to a real experience.

Transparency and trust

The format of conducting live games is also a kind of advantage. The concept of such games implies complete transparency since the entertainment is carried out in real-time. Distortion and manipulation of results in this format are almost impossible.

Live games are constantly monitored by cameras and sensors. Moreover, it is even easier to follow the process than in an offline casino, since there are no distractions such as third-party noises, players at adjacent tables, loud music. On the contrary, you can closely follow the process on the screen in HD quality.

Dynamics of the game

There is no clear winner by this criterion. Yes, live games are held at a dynamic pace. The average duration of one game is about three minutes, and slots can boast of a similar speed. The latter also allows players to choose the pace for themselves or not wait at all.

Gaming experience

Another difference between fast live games and slots is that they give you the opportunity to use your mind to the fullest. At the same time, slots do not involve mental activity and are launched as entertainment in order to try your luck.

In general, if we talk about the legal online slots market, there are more than enough offers. In terms of live games, this new direction has opened up a few companies. The global provider of live games is NetEnt. NetEnt is a leading provider of live games. So, in the top 10 online casinos in the world, you will find the biggest range of NetEnt live games.

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Sky City is mostly known for its land-based casino in Auckland, New Zealand. Concerning the nowadays situation in the world and with a purpose of extending the Sky City casino worldwide, the developers decided to create the online version about a year ago, in 2019. Although, Malta Gaming Authority has licensed the online casino Sky City. Nevertheless, the gambling site itself isn’t available in most countries yet. The countries where you can join Sky City online are New Zealand and Australia.

Can you play or not?

However, I remind you of the fact that New Zealanders are prohibited to play at online casinos. Let’s look at this more accurately. There are two kinds of online casinos and both are treated differently by the NZ authorities.

  • New Zealand is an origin of online casinos. The law says kiwi can’t either open or gamble at the online casinos that exist in NZ. Though probably there are no such sites at all unless they are illegal.
  • Online casinos based overseas. New Zealand players can successfully join the online casinos regulated by the laws of a different country.

Exactly this law is the reason why the NZ land-based Sky City made a deal with MT SecureTrade Ltd. It is officially located and registered in Malta. The fact, that having the registration documentary in Malta Sky City can welcome kiwis online and on land.

Anyone, who wish to play, can pass the registration step online and proceed to play widely known games from Microgaming, NetEnt and other top providers. Mind one important fact: a NZ citizenship gives you a possibility to play at Sky City only if you are in New Zealand. If you are currently in a different country, which isn’t allows online gambling at Sky City, you won’t have access to the games.

Why should the casino be licensed?

Casinos from our list provide licensed activities by reliable regulators. The security of any casino comes first. That’s why licensing is very important in gambling sphere. Gambling authority issues a license. Every platform that provides wagering, in particular slots, is required to receive a license. Reliable regulators make a full casino check in order to prove its fairness.

Here are some facts about casino licenses

  • Doesn’t matter how many gambling licenses casinos have. In order to start a full casino operation, it has to receive a license. In fact, casinos must be registered under at least one jurisdiction. However, when casinos try to build trust among players, sometimes, they just get the licenses by easy authority. They get it without any problems. As a result, they receive several non reliable licenses, without having at least one with a responsible attitude.
  • Players don’t pay attention to the license. If you don’t care about the casino license, please, make sure to check and be careful about it. It’s very dangerous to fill in your personal information with banking details to scammers and lose money.
  • Licenses are not equal. We’ve already discussed that there are many casinos under different jurisdictions. However, not all of them provide equally reliable service. Some of the most popular regulators: Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling Commission, Curacao eGaming, Kahnawake and Gibraltar Gambling Commission.

How to identify the license?

Most casinos show the list of licenses and other certificates in the bottom of the home page. You can easily scroll down and see the stamp of a certain regulator. Moreover, there is a possibility to find the casino on the website of a licensor. For example, the UK Gambling Commission provides a list of casinos on their website.


In fact, gambling licenses are very expensive. As a result, casinos, which have a license, have to be very serious about gambling activities and customer satisfaction. They can guarantee trustful and fair experience for all players, especially for jackpot winners.

Playing is the easiest part of gambling activity. It’s not the nervous withdrawal process or risky depositing thing. This is gaming. Like in childhood, you never wondered how difficult it would be to start. You just played without thinking. The casino games are attractive because of their simplicity. However, it depends on the game you open.


Slot machines are the simplest category of all casino games presented. The only thing required from you is to click the ‘spin’ button. If even this action is too much for you, you can turn on the autoplay mode and just watch the results of spins.

Fine, it’s not all that you need to do. Firstly, make sure that the RTP of the chosen game is over 95%. Thus, you’ll have a better profit. You can find it in the game rules which you’d better read too, by the way. Study the paytable and special features. Then go back to the gameplay to place your first bet. Start with the smallest bet. After it, keep pressing ‘spin’ and enjoy!

Table games

Table games already require more understanding of the rules. The most common blackjack, roulette or poker are likely to be beneficial if you use some betting strategy. In case with roulette, try to bet on several positions at a time, thus you’ll win more. Well, in the process you will understand what I mean by the betting strategy.

Again, start with a small size of bet, gradually raising it. After you are ready with your decision, proceed to the ‘spin’ button. In table games you’ll find more than one button. There are also ‘deal’, ‘double’, ‘hand’ and etc. Their exact definition is found in the game rules.

Live games

The live games are very similar to table games. They also include card games like poker and table games of a roulette type. However, some differences exist. The most prominent feature is the live dealer, of course. The casino worker hands out cards or spins the wheel in front of the live streaming camera. You can see the gameplay at different angles. The buttons and results are on your screen, so you can’t miss a thing.

Meanwhile you can chat with other players and discuss the current game. What you should remember about the live games is that they are live. It means the dealer won’t wait for you to make bets. You are given about 30 seconds to place the bets or make a decision of further action. So, stay tuned to the gameplay.

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