It’s an extremely vexed question, isn’t it?
And JFTR,… it has been the last 3 times it’s been discussed here over the past 6 years or so, … and I’ve likely already posted everything I’m posting now before, … so wasn’t going to bother, … but …
As far as Pokies go, I loathe them, but mainly for what they did to Music Venues, and the Music Scene in Vic. I wouldn’t mind if they were just blanket banned, … but that isn’t going to happen.
If we get out of these Pokies, … do they then cease to exist, … or will they remain and continue to bilk people & harm the community anyway?
People carry on about not winning a flag for X years, … but as we know, sadly in todays AFL, those with money, will have a better chance at it, … do we want to get out before we can replace that income given the fact that they will still be there doing damage?
Will the next owner of the license to operate be worse as regards return levels, giving back to the Community etc??
The argument about Alcohol being far more damaging, and yet remaining legal because we don’t want to penalise the many that use it responsibly, simply because of the few that abuse it, has merit, why should we completely ban them on that basis? Lot’s of folk are problem Gamblers, and go nowhere near Pokies, … do we ban all Gambling?
I think the answer to it lies somewhere in the middle, … we need licenses to drive Cars, I’ve often wondered if we should have them for other things?
Like access to buy Alcohol, … you need to study and pass so you’re educated in it’s effects, and damage it can cause, and you lose points for any Alcohol related offence, and eventually lose your brief, and are then not allowed on Licensed premises without one or able to purchase etc.
They check ID’s for age already, so it wouldn’t add that much burden.
Similar with a “Pokies Pass”, that then has to be plugged into the machine to play.
Education and pass a test to qualify, just as with a Car (how to recognise problem signs, where to get help, the figures of diminishing returns etc), and it recognises how much you’ve lost already and tells you, won’t let you play too much if you’re on Gov’t funds, or if you’ve set a cut off yourself, or if a Family member or friend or agency has reported you have issues, (checked and verified somehow of course) and you can’t get one if you’re on the dole etc.
They could also regulate the barstard things to stop the deliberate addiction tactics too. (Think there was some attempt at this recently??)
Bacchus has a point, I don’t use them, but if he wants to play a corrupted, designed to rob you eventually, computerised Shell Game and blow money, do you deny the many, because of the few that lack self control?
You can’t save everybody from themselves, but you can perhaps ensure they’re aware of the dangers, and stop them going overboard or even playing at all if they are Low Income with Kids to feed etc, … and thereby ameliorate the damage.
Also, … perhaps they should make it that the only Orgs able to run Pokies are like the Salvos, or Anglicare, … that way the money will go back where it came from eventually, … along with Bacchus and his ilk’s donations to the struggling to boot!!, …