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Did I hear right? Stanhope defending the pokies …

By I-filed 4 September 2010 40

I couldn’t believe my ears this morning – on 666, Stanhope – I’ve never heard him so animated! – on the topic of pokies.

He committed to defending the clubs and their pokies to the hilt.

Now, I have an issue with the argument that “community groups and clubs will suffer if we regulate the pokies harder” – when said community groups are dispensed money at the expense of gamblers’ families.

Is there any question that pokie addicts are putting welfare and child support money into the one-armed bandits? I’ll bet that for every dollar dispensed to a sporting club by one of the union clubs, a few dollars cost accrues to the community at large on other fronts.

Stanhope is of course well aware of community concern across Australia on this issue, and strong backing for Xenophon and the independents on this.

So Stanhope – ever keen to put forward the image of a socially responsible kinda guy – is seriously hoist on the petard of the unions.

Is anyone seriously calling him on this? Opposition? Helloooooooo?

What’s Your opinion?


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40 Responses to
Did I hear right? Stanhope defending the pokies …
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cleo said :

Better not get into my car and drive on the road, I might turn into a speeding drunk driver.

better not go on line and log into RiotAct or you might post something non-sensical..oh, wait…

p1 9:40 am 06 Sep 10

shadow boxer said :

The Raiders are owned by the QLC group, GWS for ACT is funded by Easlake and Ainslie and the Brumbies from the ACTRU club, none of those would survive without club support.

If ACT banned pokies and NSW didn’t maybe. If a nationwide ban was imposed tomorrow, I can’t see the raiders being any worse of then most. Probably much better off then the panthers for example.

shadow boxer 9:14 am 06 Sep 10

I tend to agree on the Labor club,

The Raiders are owned by the QLC group, GWS for ACT is funded by Easlake and Ainslie and the Brumbies from the ACTRU club, none of those would survive without club support.

I think the main problem is the term “club” has been interpreted too widely to include social clubs and things (i.e. Kaleen sports club), there should be stricter guidelines on what constitutes a community or sporting club for poker machine purposes.

deezagood 9:13 am 06 Sep 10

I detest all forms of gambling, having seen what addictive gambling can do to families and individuals. That said, if there must be gambling, I would prefer that it be something like the pokies, rather than horse or dog racing, where animals are forced to suffer for our gambling pleasure. Also – if we ban pokies here, both addicted and non-addicted gamblers will just slip across the border or switch to other forms of gambling to get their fix. Even an Australian ban on pokies would just send gamblers to online casinos – where there are no limits or restrictions. I think daily limitations are probably a sensible compromise – noting that problem gamblers will remain problem gamblers irrespective of any limits placed on them.

Skidbladnir 8:56 am 06 Sep 10

shadow boxer said :

I gather your issue is with the Labor Club and the Labor party and don’t have a huge issue with that

I don’t hate on just the Labor Party taking pokie funds,the entire sector is at it so gets much the same treatment.
Labor Club Group are just the easiest to talk about by dint of having the largest individual club, most intensively used machines, and least contribution back to the Community of any Club Group.
Labor Party are an easy target because they’re the ones sitting jowls deep in the trough telling us this situation is for our own good, while relying on sector aggregated stats instead of their own associated entity’s performance, because its an easy distraction.

shadow boxer said :

but for the sporting clubs the fact that organisations like GWS for ACT, the Raiders and Brumbies will cease to exist.

Pull the other one, it has bells on.
We had sporting clubs before the current version of pokies, they’ll survive to some extent.

shadow boxer 8:25 am 06 Sep 10

Skidbladnir said :

Gambling isn’t a major source of goverment funding (precisely because we tax at so low a rate).
It barely rates a mention in revenue papers, actually.

Again, the depth of analysis I’ll do on the sector depends entirely on public (or RiotACT readership) interest, precisely because nobody else seems to be giving the issue coverage.
If you want it, comment here or tell John by email.
It really is like poker machine income and its related kickbacks are being hidden in plain sight in this town.

I gather your issue is with the Labor Club and the Labor party and don’t have a huge issue with that but for the sporting clubs that analysis should includea list of the 1,000’s of community groups that will lose funding if Pokies are banned and the fact that organisations like GWS for ACT, the Raiders and Brumbies will cease to exist.

It should also outline how the ridiculous Wilkie’s proposal is actually going to stop problem gambling, it will certainly stop those casual players who like to put their change in a pokie but wont do a thing for problem gamblers.

Just because someone doesn’t like something (bistro food apparently) is no reason to ban it.

Thumper 8:19 am 06 Sep 10

pokies are what the salt of the earth blue collar workers want. this is why Stanhope is so passionate about keeping them.

Skidbladnir 10:47 pm 05 Sep 10

Labor committing to poker machine reform at the Federal level as a result of Wilkie’s demand has a few problems, beyond the fact that the news only caused a fairly minor adjustment in Aristocrat’s share price instead of a major down pricing.

1- Federal ALP and ACT Labor need to develop alternate sources of reliable cashflow, providing similar levels of return as its current poker machine stream. (which is currently a golden goose, and it can readily liquidate, following an anti-pokie policy weakens both cashflow and the asset value)
2- Federal ALP and ACT Labor needs to restructure and appeal to a broader political base in order to maintain campaign funding at the level it has achieved since using the Labor Clubs as its associated entity, and use experience a high degree of loyalty from new membership to achieve donations which replace the lost machine incomes (or surrender independence and further pander to industries or unions)
3- Federal Labor needs to compensate State and Territory governments to replace the soon to be missing revenue component, or convince then that going without will be worthwhile.(Larger debts or smaller incomes? Why bother?)

My cynicism says it will be a hard fight to achieve any one of them, let alone all three within the shortened electoral cycle this election result almost guarantees.

By being against the idea this early, Stanhope is potentially attaching himself to a gradually sinking ship, or being an early realist voice within the Party.
But his public talking points seriously need to be reconsidered and rewritten, if he wants to avoid the easy criticisms.
(I reckon I could easily give ACT labor a few, but don’t see why I should help them)

cleo 9:15 pm 05 Sep 10

hax # 31

Not really, just one less thing to do in ACT, they keep banning things, what else is next?

hax 9:42 am 05 Sep 10

cleo said :

Canberra is already boring enough without banning the pokies, firecrackers banned, etc.

You actually find pokies to be entertaining? lol
Guaranteed diminishing returns. Count all the happy faces..

Meanwhile poker (a far more social game) is already banned in the ACT. Not profitable enough I suppose.

Special G 9:33 am 05 Sep 10

The food at the clubs is neither that cheap or that good anymore. You get the same priced meal at any restaurant and far better quality.

cleo said :

Canberra is already boring enough without banning the pokies, firecrackers banned, etc.

As for this one. Pokies are about the most anti-social game ever invented. Stare at a screen and press some buttons. Might as well watch paint dry.

tiffwat 11:28 pm 04 Sep 10

bithog said :

Has anyone ever raised the issue that all the pokie subsidised cheap drinks and meals are doing to the hospitality and entertainment business in Canberra? What about all the lost business so many small Canberra bars, cafes and restaurants are loosing! Does anyone ever consider that they aren;t subsidised? Imagine how much more vibrant and lively Canberra could be if instead of all the sheep hearding back for more subsidised cheap feeds and drinks they could patronise other venues and participate in their communities in other ways?

Hey, I know I’m straying off the point a bit- but while the food is cheap it is generally awful- And it’s served in an atmosphere of people fixating on playing machines, gives me the creeps…hmm- starting to remember why I avoid these places like the plague- and I agree, Jon Stanhope should be reducing pokies in the ACT not defending them- gambling addictions should be treated not facilitated.

cleo 10:13 pm 04 Sep 10

Canberra is already boring enough without banning the pokies, firecrackers banned, etc.

housebound 9:09 pm 04 Sep 10

Stanhope seems to think the ALP’s interests and the community’s interests are one and the same. And the rest of the ALP don’t seem to making much noise beyond a token protest statement to the Canberra Times.

The Libs and Greens could easily join forces to do something and limit (or even ban) pokies in Canberra if they wanted.

cleo 8:53 pm 04 Sep 10

Better not get into my car and drive on the road, I might turn into a speeding drunk driver.

Skidbladnir 8:28 pm 04 Sep 10

Gambling isn’t a major source of goverment funding (precisely because we tax at so low a rate).
It barely rates a mention in revenue papers, actually.

Again, the depth of analysis I’ll do on the sector depends entirely on public (or RiotACT readership) interest, precisely because nobody else seems to be giving the issue coverage.
If you want it, comment here or tell John by email.
It really is like poker machine income and its related kickbacks are being hidden in plain sight in this town.

bithog 7:40 pm 04 Sep 10

Has anyone ever raised the issue that all the pokie subsidised cheap drinks and meals are doing to the hospitality and entertainment business in Canberra? What about all the lost business so many small Canberra bars, cafes and restaurants are loosing! Does anyone ever consider that they aren;t subsidised? Imagine how much more vibrant and lively Canberra could be if instead of all the sheep hearding back for more subsidised cheap feeds and drinks they could patronise other venues and participate in their communities in other ways?

So what if the clubs are hurt. They only exist because they are subsidised. Other real businesses will emerge.

Government and Unions may have to work hard to dream up some other funding sources though. Again, so what? Its is unconscionable that gambling is such a major source of funding.

Some change and pain would be a small price to pay for the benefits and ridding ourselves and our community of this soul destroying mindlessness.

shadow boxer 7:36 pm 04 Sep 10

johnboy said :

Not paid as directors perhaps, but there’s a lot of sinecures and padding in club land. To say nothing of buying themselves plasma TVs and calling them community contributions.

uh o.k. then, the ones I know tend to have 20 or 30 years of volunteer service to their particular sport (AFL, Rugby Union) mainly in running junior leagues and general organisation duties. I’ve been to a few of their houses and they don’t have particularly large tv’s or grass castles and all have day jobs.

It’s not too much of an issue because the pokies are actually dying a natural death and dont hold much attraction to the young kids who prefer to sportsbet and play poker. thats why you are seeing Vikings and other clubs diversifying into shopping centres and medical centres as alternative income streams.

That said I dont know much about the non-sporting clubs but if people don’t like how the profits are being allocated you could always get involved in your local club and attend the AGM.

It’s still a better structure than pub owners taking the money.

milkman 6:30 pm 04 Sep 10

Pokies are an example of something that is bad for a segment of the community (problem gamblers), and yet is legal. I’m not sure the current arrangements actually protect anyone except under 18s.

It would be interesting to see the social effects is they were banned outright:
* Some people might never become problem gamblers?
* Existing gamblers would find other forms of gambling?
* Less money for clubs to do their thing?
* Those who can do the right thing constrained by a ‘nanny state’?

Just some thoughts.

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