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Pokies trial in Canberra …

I-filed 23 January 2012 53

slot machines

With Quangers nearby ‘n all … interested to hear Rioters’ prescient thoughts on how it’s likely to go.

ED – Chief Minister Gallagher has welcomed the trial:

The ACT Government welcomes the Federal Government’s plan to tackle problem gambling which was announced on Saturday.

As part of the plan the Commonwealth has indicated its desire to hold a trial of mandatory pre-commitment in the ACT.

“The ACT Government will actively participate in a trial of mandatory pre-commitment if the Commonwealth Government and the clubs sector here in the ACT are able to reach agreement on the terms of a trial,” Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said.

“The details of the trial offer released yesterday clearly indicates that this is a serious offer from the Commonwealth and one which I am sure Clubs ACT and the broader club sector will consider carefully.

“If the trial proceeds in the ACT it will be important that the ACT Budget is not adversely affected. The ACT Government will continue to talk to the Commonwealth Government about how this will be achieved.

“We are strongly supportive of the overall plan outlined by the Commonwealth which is aimed at tackling problem gambling in the community,” the Chief Minister said.

[Photo by benketaro CC BY 2.0]

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Pokies trial in Canberra …
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HenryBG 1:59 pm 24 Jan 12

shirty_bear said :

That’s quite an elegant methodology, and achieves two things:
1. identifying problem punters as intended
2. constructing the world’s most shambolic and least competent army

I don’t know – their gambling skills could come in handy if we put them onto IED disposal.

“Shall I cut the red one or the blue one?”
“I’ll give you 3:1 odds on the red one”
“I’ll give you 7:2 on the blue one”
“Right, you’re one, the blue one it is – stand back….”

devils_advocate 1:50 pm 24 Jan 12

qbngeek said :

If my military service, and some of the people I served with, was anything to go by. You are more likely to wind up an alcoholic and smoking 40 smokes a day out of boredom in most postings in Australia.

So it’s kind of like being in front of a poker machine anyway.

qbngeek 1:37 pm 24 Jan 12

whitelaughter said :

housebound said :

whitelaughter said :

HenryBG said :

What would Jesus do?

Require gambling machines to have a 1% chance per use that you get flagged (all machines in a venue being linked) – flag does absolutely nothing, and goes away 24 hours later. Getting a second flag though, gets you drafted into the army. (Judges 20:9-10)
The only way you can get caught is if you are foolish enough to keep gambling after getting a flag, so only problem gamblers will be caught.

Big moral judgement there. Gambling = rape and murder?

Err – no. The rapists and murderers got killed. Everyone (well, every man) was in the ballot to get drafted. (As was the case in OZ for Vietnam IIRC). Being in the army isn’t a punishment – it does however, mean that the military will be feeding, housing and clothing you, providing a solid safety net.

Well they only feed you if you live on base and they take money from your pay for that, they also take money from your pay for housing and they only give you a uniform so unless you are going to wear cams 24/7 or go naked you will need to buy civvies.

If my military service, and some of the people I served with, was anything to go by. You are more likely to wind up an alcoholic and smoking 40 smokes a day out of boredom in most postings in Australia.

whitelaughter 1:19 pm 24 Jan 12

housebound said :

whitelaughter said :

HenryBG said :

What would Jesus do?

Require gambling machines to have a 1% chance per use that you get flagged (all machines in a venue being linked) – flag does absolutely nothing, and goes away 24 hours later. Getting a second flag though, gets you drafted into the army. (Judges 20:9-10)
The only way you can get caught is if you are foolish enough to keep gambling after getting a flag, so only problem gamblers will be caught.

Big moral judgement there. Gambling = rape and murder?

Err – no. The rapists and murderers got killed. Everyone (well, every man) was in the ballot to get drafted. (As was the case in OZ for Vietnam IIRC). Being in the army isn’t a punishment – it does however, mean that the military will be feeding, housing and clothing you, providing a solid safety net.

dungfungus 12:38 pm 24 Jan 12

Someone mentioned that drug addicts die from overdoses but poker machine addicts don’t. I know at least two pokie addicts who have topped themselves and I am sure a lot of readers out there will know someone as well. Very sad but at least the families they left were able to pursue a fullfilling life. One widow told me “it was like having an ingrown toenail removed”
I used to think that people who became addicted to anything needed help and compassion but I no longer care for them. In this day and age of choices and freedoms there is no excuse for addiction and if the plethora of tax payer funded agencies that are available to help them fail them, then they (the addicts) don’t have the character to beat the addiction and it best for everyone if they just “move on”.
While some in government might say they are concerned about restricting access to poker machines for “addicts” there are really not fair-dinkum. If they were, they would ban poker machines totally, for everyone, and of course, that will never happen. In the meantime, some are awakening to political and economic opportunities if they are seen to be caring about the problem enough to waste millions of dollars of borrowed taxpayers’ money on a crazy trial in the ACT.
We have to accept that addicts are the dross of our society and deal with them as best we can.

poetix 12:05 pm 24 Jan 12

whitelaughter said :

HenryBG said :

What would Jesus do?

Require gambling machines to have a 1% chance per use that you get flagged (all machines in a venue being linked) – flag does absolutely nothing, and goes away 24 hours later. Getting a second flag though, gets you drafted into the army. (Judges 20:9-10)
The only way you can get caught is if you are foolish enough to keep gambling after getting a flag, so only problem gamblers will be caught.

Jesus watched people gambling for his clothes while he was on the cross. He might support anything that reduces the suffering that is involved in excessive gambling.

Judges is *so* Old Testament.

Erg0 10:35 am 24 Jan 12

#43: Sounds good, but to really drive the point home we’d need to follow through all the way and let the destitute gambling addicts die of starvation and/or exposure. It’s the only way they’ll learn.

shirty_bear 10:16 am 24 Jan 12

whitelaughter said :

HenryBG said :

What would Jesus do?

Require gambling machines to have a 1% chance per use that you get flagged (all machines in a venue being linked) – flag does absolutely nothing, and goes away 24 hours later. Getting a second flag though, gets you drafted into the army. (Judges 20:9-10)
The only way you can get caught is if you are foolish enough to keep gambling after getting a flag, so only problem gamblers will be caught.

That’s quite an elegant methodology, and achieves two things:
1. identifying problem punters as intended
2. constructing the world’s most shambolic and least competent army

Grail 8:38 am 24 Jan 12

chewy14 said :

Although I’m not actually against legalising drugs, can you remind me when was the last time someone overdosed and died directly from using a poker machine?

We don’t let them die. There are families in Canberra who are homeless due to a family member gambling away all their money though. Does that count?

We allow nicotine and gambling, why don’t we allow the other drugs? At present we’re just having trouble accepting the fact that making gambling more easily accessible than clean water, increases the danger of gambling. We also have no regulation on the amount that someone can gamble in one day: there are supposed to be restrictions on serving alcohol to inebriated people, why are people allowed to gamble more than they can afford to?

Limiting gambling machines to a maximum $1 bet per game will reduce the level of gambling induced debt, simply because you can’t roll $50,000 through the machine in one night.

housebound 6:55 am 24 Jan 12

whitelaughter said :

HenryBG said :

What would Jesus do?

Require gambling machines to have a 1% chance per use that you get flagged (all machines in a venue being linked) – flag does absolutely nothing, and goes away 24 hours later. Getting a second flag though, gets you drafted into the army. (Judges 20:9-10)
The only way you can get caught is if you are foolish enough to keep gambling after getting a flag, so only problem gamblers will be caught.

Big moral judgement there. Gambling = rape and murder?

Jesus would have been more likely to spend some time talking with anyone who happened to be around. He made it pretty clear he wasn’t building an empire (on earth anyway), so raising an army is unlikely.

Diggety 1:13 am 24 Jan 12

A lot of you have brought up very good points, of which I mostly agree with- in principle.

My fundamental problem with the policy responses, public debate discourse, treatment of victims, cultural deformity and market interventionism is that they all dismiss the most obvious cause.

In the last few decades we have allowed a socialist style of encouraging the individual to relinquish their responsibility and rights to the mob. It is hard to come by such a pertinent example affecting so many elements of society than the pokie issue.

If you f*ck up, it is your fault. Humans tend to forgive and help out if you’re willing to concede that fact, but if we support a system where we take away the freedom to fail, there is no reference of success. Moreover, if we support a system of removing potentials to f*ck up (which is impossible), we remove the incentive to act responsibly.

I doubt this trial will work but I’ll wait and see, and to give Greens a rare plug, they suggested a much better option for reform- perhaps they’re finally maturing their policy? Who knows.

But no party leader has the guts to suggest that consumers are responsible, addicts very much included.

P.S. This should be a state response- not a centralised federal one capable of bringing down government.

chewy14 10:15 pm 23 Jan 12

HenryBG said :

chewy14 said :

Although I’m not actually against legalising drugs, can you remind me when was the last time someone overdosed and died directly from using a poker machine?

Are you sure that’s the metric you want to use in judging whether something should be prohibited or not?

No, and I can’t see where I said it was.

whitelaughter 9:04 pm 23 Jan 12

HenryBG said :

What would Jesus do?

Require gambling machines to have a 1% chance per use that you get flagged (all machines in a venue being linked) – flag does absolutely nothing, and goes away 24 hours later. Getting a second flag though, gets you drafted into the army. (Judges 20:9-10)
The only way you can get caught is if you are foolish enough to keep gambling after getting a flag, so only problem gamblers will be caught.

HenryBG 9:00 pm 23 Jan 12

chewy14 said :

Although I’m not actually against legalising drugs, can you remind me when was the last time someone overdosed and died directly from using a poker machine?

Are you sure that’s the metric you want to use in judging whether something should be prohibited or not?

2604 8:43 pm 23 Jan 12

drfelonious said :

The pokies shambles is yet another example of how business can prevent government reforms (however well supported by evidence or sound public policy they may be).

Where is the evidence to support the idea that this particular reform would reduce gambling addiction? Also, business can’t actually “prevent” reforms – the government can pass any constitutionally-valid legislation it wants to. It is just too wimpy to do so a lot of the time.

The issue is that Gillard and Co’s policy positions are sometimes based on a sensible and well-thought-out premise, but most often are based upon some unfeasible pie-in-the-sky idea that betrays their lack of real-world experience. Policy based upon bad principle doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and isn’t defensible, so Gillard’s instinctive response the minute someone complains about a policy or decision is not to defend it, but to change it, water it down, or throw money at the complainer.

She could take a cue from Hawke and Keating, whose decision-making process basically involved talking to business about a proposed change, considering business’ feedback, making the decision they thought was in the nation’s best interests regardless of what they thought business would say, and then deflecting criticism from business with reference to why the path they’d chosen was the best one for Australia (backed up by some pertinent evidence).

chewy14 7:47 pm 23 Jan 12

drfelonious said :

The pokies shambles is yet another example of how business can prevent government reforms (however well supported by evidence or sound public policy they may be).

Step one – convince the bogans of Australia that their interests are aligned with your business.

Step two – see step one

Shouldn’t that be try and convince bogans that giving away freedoms is OK because a minority of people can’t take responsibility for their own actions? Luckily the one member of the HOR that this was an issue for, didn’t succeed with his minority view and attempted blackmail.

And Jim Jones,
Although I’m not actually against legalising drugs, can you remind me when was the last time someone overdosed and died directly from using a poker machine?

shadow boxer 7:07 pm 23 Jan 12

Pretty strong victory for people power and the rights of a private club to conduct internal revenue raising amongst its own members.

It’s a shame we are going to waste 10’s of millions on a trial that wont work. The anti-pokie brigade would have been far better off targetting Wolworths than footy clubs.

HenryBG 7:04 pm 23 Jan 12

Jethro said :

A bit hypocritical to be in favour of legalising one vice (drugs) but not another (gambling) don’t you think.

Legal but regulated – ie. the industry plays by our rules and has very little right to complain if those rules cut into their profits by a tiny amount.

No – I’m not talking about banning gambling. People can sit at home and play with a one-armed bandit to their hearts’ content, but ideally we’d be doing something about organisations ripping-off stupid people.

It’s not really fair to prey on the stupid, although it results in loads of cheap food and drink and easy raffles for the rest of us, so if I were being self-interested I would say let it continue.

It is interesting – on this issue you’ve basically got overwhelming apolitical public support but for some bizarre reason an incoherent PR campaign (“It won’t work” + “It will kill your local club” – I mean, WTF? What kind of lobotomised vegatable are they aiming that at?) causes the government to vacillate.

Jim Jones 6:50 pm 23 Jan 12

Diggety said :

Why the witch hunt on poker machines, when the pokie addicts are entirely to blame?

– Local pub shut down because of pokie competition? Addicts fault.
– Local music drowned out from poker machines? Addicts fault.
– Kids hungry because food money is being consumed by pokies? Addicts fault.
– Marriage breakdown from pokie related financial strain? Addicts fault.
– Mental health ailing due to pokie addiction? Addicts fault.

It’s called personal responsibility.

Why the witch hunt on heroin dealers when the addicts are entirely to blame?

Skidbladnir 6:49 pm 23 Jan 12

As a result of this arse-backwrds announcement, I may see what I can dredge out of ACT Gaming and Racing.

Not at all naturally helpful people if you start asking for their detailed tax models, but they’ll suddenly become helpful if you threaten Ministerials can talk policy. 🙂

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