Fantasy vs. Pokies: Exploring the Diverging Popularity of Gaming Trends in the US and Australia

Gaming is one of the world’s top entertainment activities and billions of people engage in it globally. They play various titles ranging from sports, casino, and adventure games to role-playing, strategy, and action games. However, the gaming trends vary in different countries. Each country has a favorite trend that is more popular among its people than others.

Fantasy sports have gained popularity today in the United States more than ever. Many Americans enjoy it on different platforms. A Statista study shows that there are over 62.5 million fantasy sports players in the US.

On the other hand, pokies are also popular in Australia. Statistics reveal that approximately 38.6% of adult Aussies play pokies. With that in mind, let us take you through the factors for the diverging popularity of these gaming trends in both countries.

About Fantasy Sports in the US and Pokies in Australia

Fantasy sports are virtual games you play by selecting a team of players who are proxies of real players in professional sports leagues. Their statistical performance in actual games determines how they perform in the game. Fantasy sports games in the United States date way back to the 1950s.

For example, California businessman Wilfred Bill Winkenbach created fantasy golf and baseball games in the 1950s. But they were still in the experimental stage and less popular. However, with today’s technological advancements, fantasy sports have evolved. This has increased their popularity in the country.

In contrast, pokies are also interesting casino games and the favorites of many Aussies. Statistics show Australia is home to 20% of the world’s total slot machines. It is evidence as to why pokies are so popular in the country.

Moreover, they are allowed to operate in all Australian states. You will find them in almost every grocery store, bar, or minimart. Not only that, but the introduction of online gaming has also increased the popularity of online pokies.

Factors for the Popularity of Fantasy Sports and Pokies in the US and Australia, Respectively

1. Diverse Gameplay Options

Fantasy sports in the United States have a variety of options to play. Players choose any sport to enjoy. The most popular include fantasy football, rugby, baseball, basketball, and soccer. Also, each sport has different leagues, such as Redraft League, Best Ball League, and Auction League for football. They attract many Americans to fantasy sports.

In Australia, pokies also give Aussies diverse gameplay options. Despite most slot machines having the same gameplay mechanism, they feature different themes for varied experiences. There are jackpot, three-reel, five-real, bonus, and Megaways slots.

The games have unique features that give players different playing excitement. Luckily, you can find most of them in the top Australian online casinos at for your spinning adventures. They are available for real money and free play. Also, the pokies feature excellent graphics and favorable return-to-player percentages.

2. Improved Digital Infrastructure

America’s digital infrastructure has greatly improved, which enables most Americans to easily access and play fantasy sports games. Many have smart devices like PCs, smartphones, and tablets they use to play games. Americans also have access to reliable internet connections that promote smooth gameplay. Additionally, NFTs are joining the market and introducing new forms of attractive games, as explained at

Similarly, Australia also has developed digital infrastructure for improved gaming experiences. Many Aussies now have smartphones that have made gaming more convenient. They don’t have to visit physical casinos to enjoy their favorite pokies but can play them from anywhere. Best of all, Australia’s mobile data is among the cheapest in the whole world. Meaning, Australians can afford to access online gaming platforms anytime.

3. Legal Acceptance

Fantasy sports games are considered games of skill and not chance by Federal Law. As a matter of fact, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 excludes fantasy sports leagues. So, they are legal in many states but are subject to interstate regulations. Out of the 50 states of America, 45 accept fantasy sports, which has increased its popularity across the US.

Pokies are popular in Australia because they are legal in all states. You find them in most land-based casinos across the country. Statistics even show that Australia has over 200,000 gaming machines in different states. This legal acceptance increases the popularity of slot machines.

But there are strict regulations on the provision of online pokies to Aussies. Despite that, Australians have access to reliable offshore online casinos where they enjoy them. The restrictions are against service providers and not players. Hopefully, the government will relax them soon.

4. Increased Investment

The legalization of fantasy sports in the United States has attracted many investors to enter the market. They are investing heavily in it by injecting millions of dollars into the development of various games. For example, DraftKings and FanDuel are the biggest fantasy sports companies in America, as shown at

Many Australian companies and organizations are also investing billions in pokies. Reports show that Endeavor Group, one of the top poker machine operators in the country, receives financing from AustralianSuper. It is Australia’s biggest fund and the third-largest shareholder in the company.

The organization also finances Aristocrat Leisure Ltd, the dominant pokies manufacturer in the country. AustralianSuper is the company’s second-biggest shareholder.

Both Gaming Trends Keep Growing in Popularity

Reports show that America’s fantasy sports gaming market will continue to grow and is expected to reach $24.23 Billion by 2029. The same applies to Australia’s pokies industry because online casino gaming is becoming more popular among Aussies.