Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pokies

a Jesus thought...
Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42)


a Godly thought...
Perhaps there is a middle ground, somewhere between the hotline and the disconnected line: where we do genuinely hear the whispers of the God who loves to speak to us. (p22 Lucas)


a leading thought...
Sometimes we think of passion as a fire that burns out quickly. But to me spiritual passion runs deep: It is a lifelong commitment to follow the disciplines necessary to achieve and sustain spirituality. (p49 Finzel)


a Dave thought...
Victorians are losing close to $7 million a day on poker machines, or more than $2.5 billion a year, a new report shows. And in the last financial year, gamblers lost a further $1 billion at Melbourne's Crown Casino alone. The Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation annual report, tabled in state parliament today, shows the gambling losses recorded in Victoria for the financial year were $4.7 billion, including racing, lotteries and sports betting.
These stats are frightening as literally hundreds of lives and families are ruined every year because of gambling addictions. But now as the government rely on this income $1.5 billion in taxes and levies it is hard to see why they will stop the ever growing gambling industry. For them even if they have to hand us a few million to look after the victims they end up way in front.
When I was ministering at Box Hill Salvos there was a lady who came for regular food parcels after she made her way across to us after spending 4 hours on the pokies across the road at the RSL and yes we still showed mercy and gave her food. But as we continue to help people who are victims of the thousands of pokie machines I sometimes wonder whether we should be doing more at the proactive end rather than the reactive end as we used to fight injustice in our early years.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Eddie said...

Interesting post Dave..

Here's some more frightening stats about the impact of pokie gambling:

- Over 90% of all 'regular' gamblers lose control of time or money while playing pokies...
- If you walk into a gaming venue, about half of the people sitting at the machines at any one time will be problem gamblers...
- 700,000 people are being impacted directly by problem gambling.

(I worked in the field for the last 6 years before coming to the TSPRU...)

I appreciate the enthusiasm for action - although jamming the machines is a very temporary fix (and most of note acceptors anyway!). There are actually some really good solutions being put forward, and I know the Army is involved in discussions around many of these, including consumer protection measures, decreasing access, and making the whole shady industry much more accountable... Happy to chat about any of them with you!