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Community benefit from poker machines?

By johnboy - 27 April 2007 12

The Age has interesting research from Melbourne where they’ve found that Victorian poker machine venues are pumping the “community benefit” money into such things as their own plasma screens. The assumption being that the community can come into the club and benefit from the screens (before getting pissed and doing their dough on the poker machines).

They’ve found that (somewhat like a poker machine) in fact only 3% of the community benefit money makes its way to things like charities and community organisations as we might assume.

Now this study only covers the Victorian situation. Are we any better off?

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Community benefit from poker machines?
caf 3:46 pm 29 Apr 07

Well in poker you’re not playing against the house; you just have to win enough from the other players to beat the rake.

SP racing and sports betting are a bit of a different matter because you are playing against the house, but if (and it’s a big “if”) your ability to pick winners over the long term is significantly better than the house you can still win. And in Tote betting yes you just have to slightly outrun the pack.

It’s a very different matter from mathematically unbeatable games like the pokies, roulette and modern casino blackjack.

johnboy 3:32 pm 29 Apr 07

And yet the house always wins…

Still, I’ll concede that even within framed odds you don’t need to outrun the lion, just the less “skilled” others around you.

caf 3:06 pm 29 Apr 07

I dispute “like any gambling”. Most forms of gambling sure; but there are some (racing, sport, poker) where a skilled player is not doomed to lose their stake.

VicePope 2:47 pm 29 Apr 07

Pokies, like any gambling, amount to a tax on stupidity and weakness. The benefit of the tax goes (to some extent) to useful purposes and (to some extent) to aggrandisement and politics).

If we are a decent society, we should find ways to provide for the useful (access to sport, mutuality) that don’t involve vulnerable people destroying their lives and the lives of those around them.

Radio National Backgroun Briefing this morning was very good on the subject of gambling. I’m sure it can be podded.

mutley 10:08 am 28 Apr 07

Gin Palaces?

Do they dance the Charleston at these places?

johnboy 10:15 pm 27 Apr 07

On the other hand if we’re taxing the stupid would we prefer the tax to flow back to the rest of us or solely to the pockets of the neo-oligarchs who run these gin palaces?

Vic Bitterman 9:53 pm 27 Apr 07

No-one is forcing people to play pokies. So like copping a speeding fine, it’s a voluntary ‘tax’ on the stupid.

As long as those pokies players keep on voluntarily subsidising my beer and food prices at my local club…

maloomike 6:21 pm 27 Apr 07

The ACT Government profits the most through the gaming tax it collects. The ACT Government gives the impression that it cares about problem gambling but the facts are less then 30% of calls through Lifeline are answered (due to lack of funding – volunteers). The Labor Club contributes $500,000+ per year to the Labor party, i guess the Government are happy………..

Meconium 3:01 pm 27 Apr 07

If they can get away with it, they invest the money in their own club. And who wouldn’t?

Maybe it’s time for much more stringent pokie laws. Can you imagine what Australia would be like with pokies only in casinos for example? Granted, a lot of registered clubs would quickly go down, but I think the quality and concentration of pubs and more interesting nightspots in Canberra would change drastically.

Doubt it’ll ever happen though – I guess the government spends only a fraction of pokie tax revenue on “Do you have a problem with gambling” and social workers compared to what it receives. In addition to clubs all over the place being open till the early hours of the morning (which is an excellent thing).

bonfire 9:46 am 27 Apr 07

sure we are – just ask the local ALP – they do very well out of poker machines.

Indi 9:36 am 27 Apr 07

‘clubslife’ – the only thing lifting those out of their misery who get sucked into staring at pokies all day is the cheap food and free caffeine hit.

Ralph 9:17 am 27 Apr 07

Same goes with clubs in NSW. Why do you think they always seem to have some massive renovation going on?

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