Today is the day Tatts and Tabcorp exit the Victorian poker machine scene. It’s a fundamental shift in the way the industry will operate in this state, and the ramifications are yet to be determined. Tatts have already announced they are packing up and moving to Queensland, and they (along with Tabcorp) are threatening to sue the Victorian government for $1.3 billion. Poker machines across the state have changed hands, with more gaming entitlements being sold than there are machines in operation… it’s a pivotal day.
But for millions of people around the world, today is significant for a completely different reason. Today is the 35th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.
How do you think the poker machine industry would commemorate such an occasion?
Poker machine manufacturer IGT, one of this country’s largest providers of gambling equipment and an official sponsor of a huge section of the clubs industry, has come up with the “Elvis The King” poker machine. It will be on display at the Australasian Gaming Expo, which starts in five days.
According to IGT, this “celebrates the enduring legacy of music from the King”. Personally I think it tramples all over it.
The machine features music and film clips from Elvis’ career. It appears nothing is sacred, not even the memory of one of the greatest performers we have ever seen.
This poker machine also features “multi-layer display”, an innovation from IGT that produces 3D graphics. It’s interesting (although not surprising) to note that this “innovation” has not been tested or trialled to determine what social impact it might have. Will this kind of technological advance lead to gamblers spending more, which in turn would lead to an increase in problematic gambling behaviour? I believe so. But as always, the industry rolls out untried, untested technology with scant regard for the consequences beyond their own pockets.
Elvis isn’t dead. He’s in a pub or club, waiting to take your money. Thanks, IGT.