Fans of Aristocrat pokies in Australia were faced with somewhat disappointing news last week as MyBet Casino became the latest operator to announce that their online Aristocrat pokies would become blocked to players in the country. As one of our highly recommended online casinos for Aussie players, a major part of their appeal was the fact that they were the last operator to offer Aristocrat pokies for online play in the country. However, this is no longer the case and while they still offer a reasonable range of online poker machines from other manufacturers, the loss of Aristocrat games among the range certainly takes some of the shine off an otherwise impressive online casino.
Aristocrat’s online strategy has often being viewed in a similar manner to other poker machine makers that primarily make their money in the land based market, that being muddled at best. For many online casino players both in Australia and internationally, the companies have seen some significant competition from the likes of Playtech, Microgaming and Net Entertainment, each of which have picked up the mantle of pokie development for an online audience.
Of course, Aristocrat is not the only major player in the Australian land based pokie market. Nevada’s IGT is the other well-known name in Australia, and their games have similar restrictions in place, whereby Aussie players can either enjoy the original games at their local clubs or casinos or be forced to seek out alternatives if they wish to play online. The similarities between the situations of both companies are starkly obvious, and it is not entirely unreasonable to assume that they are more concerned with protecting their money spinning positions in the land based market at the expense of online market share in Australia so as not to fall foul of government policies surrounding both land based and online pokie gambling.
The Australian online casino market is a notorious legal grey area at the moment, something that comes as a surprise to many international observers given the country’s longstanding appreciation of poker machines as a hobby and form of entertainment. While several influential figures in the Australian government are showing signs of taking the bull by the horns and developing a proper policy on the activity, the results of such actions remain to be seen.
In the meantime, Aussie players that are fans of land based titles from Aristocrat and IGT can find a number of alternatives online. Operators without a stake in the Aussie land based market, such as the aforementioned Microgaming, Net Entertainment and Playtech, continue to leave online availability of their games up to the sole discretion of the individual casino operator. As mentioned, MyBet Casino continues to offer Aussie players the opportunity to enjoy other online poker machines, and the likes of All Slots Casino and Casino Mate, powered primarily by Microgaming and Playtech respectively, offer an excellent selection of titles that took obvious inspiration from some of Aristocrat and IGT’s most popular land based games.