What did an inline gaming machine (available in Queensland pre-pokies) look like and how did they operate?
March 4, 2009 2:38 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know anything about the inline gaming machines that used to be available in RSL clubs and various other places in Queensland, back in the olden days (pre-1992) before pokies (aka slot and fruit machines) were introduced?

Before pokies were legally available in Queensland, Australia (1992 was when they were legalised) my father used to go to the local football club and the RSL club to play on these things known as inline gaming machines. I've never seen one and my googling skills remain craparsed as I haven't been able to track down much information regarding them. I wonder if anyone else could find me a picture and some details as to how they actually worked? Thanks for your help!
posted by h00py to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Hmmm, you're right - I can't find much out there on teh internets either!

OK, imagine a pinball machine with a ball launcher, bumpers, etc, but no flippers. You launched the ball, it bounced around, may have landed in one of several holes spread around the deck, and eventually dropped off the bottom of the field like you just sucked at pinball. Each bumper and hole scored points as per a pinball table and, like pinball, your score was displayed on the backboard. The whole thing was more a game of chance like a pokie, rather than a game of skill like pinball - though I believe the same thing was sometimes also done with proper pinball machines.

In the legitimate form, the idea was to rack up enough points to get a free ball and continue playing. In the RSLs, once you racked up enough points you'd usually find a bartender who'd pour you a freebie, take a bit off your tab, or pay you cash - all illegal, and done 'under the counter'. In the illegal casinos that flourished pre-Fitzgerald, they pay you in chips or cash (but, as in all casinos, the bosses and bouncers took a dim view of you walking out with their money ;-)

Famously, the Qld police of the time were unable to find much evidence at all of any of this going on. They also had severe difficulty in seeing the scantily-clad-but-very-friendly-ladies standing on every corner up and down Brunswick, James, Wickham, and Ann streets in The Valley ;-)

(That's all from memory. About the time I was able to start mis-spending my youth in such places, the Fitzgerald Inquiry was launched, and the illegal gambling scene in Qld was being closed down. I was only lucky enough to see the inside of an illegal casino a couple of times.)
posted by Pinback at 4:36 AM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


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