Poker machines – a dry argument

Strange thing, really.

It’s illegal to operate poker machines in Australia without a liquor license.

Think about that for a moment.

You can’t operate these pokie9 unless you sell this beer9.

Which is odd.

Because this beer9 fundamentally changes the way you think about this pokie9.

We’re always told to use our judgement.

Exercise our will power.

Set limits and stick to them.

But after a few of these beer9 how strong is our will power?

After a few of these beer9 how good is our judgement?

After a few of these beer9 how important do those limits seem?

Maybe we should treat these pokie9 like these car9.

Maybe we should make it illegal to use these pokie9 if you’ve had some of this beer9.

Maybe we should stop selling this beer9 where we offer these pokie9.

We did it with these cigs9.

Why not this beer9?

Strange thing, really.

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1 Response

  1. Tim Falkiner says:

    The reason is historical. The Cain Government was desperate for money and wanted to introduce the machines quickly. Requiring a permit would have caused delay and run the risk that there would have been a lot of objections. Attaching them to an existing use – a liquor licence – was a clever, from the government’s viewpoint, choice. I remember standing outside one planning QC’s chambers as he looked morosely at a copy of the new legislation observing morosely, “Nothing here for us.” It must also be appreciated that the government simply did not appreciate the harm that would be caused. There was an underlying assumption in Parliament that if the gambling was honest, it would be safe.

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