Ah me, ah my. The local papers of NSW are at it again; wilfully printing inaccurate, biased stories about poker machine reforms and the terrible, terrible plight of the clubs. I’ve written before about the way that the papers of NSW print mainly pro-club, pro-pokies, anti-reform articles; the latest is the Narooma News, which ran this story today.
Apparently the clubs of Narooma and Bermagui are organising a protest against the proposed poker machine reforms, and they’re urging members and residents to get on board. Now, that’s their right; much as I disagree with their stance and their tactics, I understand that they’re going to fight to hang on to what they’ve got… however damaging it may be.
But for a newspaper to print an article that reads more like an advertisement than any kind of journalism I’m familiar with, is disgusting. The Narooma News promotes the contact numbers for the protest, spruiks the “Un-Australian” website, and is full of blatantly false and misleading information.
Never has it been clearer than it is now that the local papers across NSW are little more than mouthpieces for the clubs. They print what they’re told like good little children and sit back and call themselves journalists.
I wanted to leave my thoughts in their comments section, but the Narooma News doesn’t allow much space for comments. Instead, I’ve placed my comments here, and I’ll be leaving them a link to this page. I doubt they’ll read it but I don’t really care; so long as they publish drivel like that, they’re not worth the trouble.
MY COMMENT ON THE ARTICLE, “All aboard at Narooma and Bermagui for the pre-commitment protest”, PUBLISHED IN THE NAROOMA NEWS 06/07/2011
This article is a disgrace to journalism. It is biased and wildly inaccurate, and by promoting contact phone numbers and website addresses it crosses the line between reporting and merely advertising the Clubs Industry’s agenda.
The “licence to punt” is pure fiction. There is and never will be a licence to punt; this was created by ClubsAustralia to try and influence the public. They had to resort to tactics like this because the truth does not support their position.
This article makes no mention of the fact that mandatory pre-commitment will only apply to high-intensity poker machines; low-intensity poker machines will NOT require pre-commitment, will NOT require a card, and will NOT ask players to set limits. All of these points are clearly laid out in the proposed reforms.
The costs quoted in this article are grossly exaggerated. The cost of modifying a poker machine to accomodate pre-commitment has been placed at around $1000; by Mr Rose’s reckoning his club must have 780 machines!
The job losses have also been exaggerated, and no mention made of the fact that lower poker machine spending equates to higher retail spending. The retailers of Narooma and Bermagui will see an increase in trade once these reforms are applied, and that will mean MORE jobs, not less.
“Social”gamblers will be unaffected. They can continue to play low-intensity machines without setting limits. Mr Rose’s statements are blatantly false.
These reforms are designed to give problem gamblers the tools they need to minimise the damage they can cause to themselves and others, while they try and break their addiction. More importantly, they are designed to prevent the development of problem gambling behaviours in those who are not currently addicted. This article makes no mention of this.
It’s sad that local papers across NSW are printing biased, uninformed and misleading articles such as this. It shows them to be nothing more than newsletters for the clubs. People deserve better.