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A slot machine (American), fruit machine (English), or poker machine (Australian) is a type of casino game. Traditional slot machines are coin-operated machines with three or more reels, which spin when a lever on the side of the machine is pulled. The machines include a currency detector that validates the coin or money inserted to play. (The slot machine is also known informally as a one-armed bandit because of its traditional appearance and its ability to leave the gamer penniless.) The machine pays off based on patterns of symbols visible on the front of the machine when it stops. Modern computer technology has resulted in many variations on the slot machine concept. Slot machines are the most popular gambling method in casinos and constitute about 70 percent of the average casino's income.

Slot machines in Australia are generally referred to as "video poker", "poker machines" or "pokies", but are officially termed Gaming Machines. Australian-style gaming machines frequently use video displays to simulate physical reels, usually five. These machines have additional bonusing and second-screen features such as free games and bonus levels. They also allow for multiple lines (up to 50) or multiple ways (up to 243) to be played.

The laws regulating the use of gaming machines in Australia are a matter for State governments, and as such they vary between States.

Gaming machines in are found in casinos (approximately one in each major city) as well as pubs and clubs in some states (usually sports, social, or RSL clubs). The first Australian state to legalize this style of gambling was New South Wales in 1956 when they were made legal in all registered clubs in the state. There are suggestions that the proliferation of poker machines has led to increased levels of "problem gambling"; however, the precise nature of this link is still open to research.

In 1999 the Australian Productivity Commission reported that Australia had nearly 180,000 poker machines, more than half of which were in New South Wales. This figure represented 21% of all the gambling machines in the world, and on a per capita basis, Australia had roughly five times as many gaming machines as the United States. Revenue from gaming machines in pubs and clubs accounts for more than half of the $4 billion in gambling revenue collected by state governments in 2002-2003.

In Queensland, gaming machines in pubs and clubs must provide a return rate of 85% while machines located in casinos must provide a return rate of 90%. Most other states have similar provisions. (Credit: Wikipedia).