Australians lose more money betting than citizens of any other country and slot machines are powering the problem, Oliver Milman writes for The Guardian.
The latest news, views and stories about poker machine addiction, and the need for reform.
Chris Middendorp, a Melbourne community worker, discusses why government intervention is a necessary step.
|—||Tom Cummings is a former poker machine addict who has turned his attention to gambling reform and the industry in general.|
Monash University gambling expert Dr Charles Livingstone said the impact of the losses was even worse than it might first appear. “The Productivity Commission estimates that 40 per cent of pokie losses come from people with a serious gambling problem, and another 20 per cent from those with a less serious but nonetheless well-developed problem.” (source: Melton Weekly)
Monash University gambling expert Dr Charles Livingstone said the impact of the losses was even worse than it might first appear.
“The Productivity Commission estimates that 40 per cent of pokie losses come from people with a serious gambling problem, and another 20 per cent from those with a less serious but nonetheless well-developed problem.”
(source: Melton Weekly)
|—||The Reverend Graham Long, pastor of the Wayside Chapel in Sydney’s Kings Cross|
The pokies lobby is fond of saying that they don’t want any problem gamblers in their venues. Yet they derive around 40 per cent of their revenue from those with such a problem, and another 20 per cent from those on the path to one. Their preferred ‘solution’ to problem gambling is more counselling. Unfortunately, although counselling can be very effective for those who use it, the vast majority of problem gamblers (probably 90 per cent or more) never access such services.
And, even more unfortunately, by the time gamblers do go to counsellors, the damage has been done: the family broken up, the kids traumatised, the money gone, the house sold, the job lost, the depression fully formed, health ruined, and in far too many cases a family member lost. Surely it would be far better to prevent the problem in the first place?
Gambling reform is about acknowledging we’ve got a problem, and dealing with it. How many broken homes, suicides, neglected kids and ruined lives are enough to convince them, and our political leaders, that it’s time we sorted this out?
|—||“A few home truths about pokies reform”, by Dr Charles Livingstone of Monash University|
This chart from the Productivity Commission’s 2009 report shows that “gaming machines” (read: poker machines) take players’ money more than 6 times faster than any other form of gambling.
|—||Former Queensland Premier Wayne Goss, quoted in the Courier Mail|
Australians lose over $12 billion every year on pokies, and problem gamblers can lose over $1000 in a single hour.
This Parliament is our best chance to implement sensible pre-commitment technology to help problem gamblers kick a habit that’s destroying Australian families.
Click through to GetUp’s petition for pokie reform to show your support!
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