It was too late and I was too agitated to go to any ordinary kind of a place nothing’s open at 10 o’clock at night and because I had the sense of familiarity with the local hotel I knew that it was a place that I could go and just break the rhythm of how I was feeling and when I sat down and put money in I put a few dollars in and I press some buttons and I looked at the symbols and I had that sense the rhythm of it somehow settled my agitation But I didn’t expect to be able to not get out of it. People under stress find poker machines alleviate that stress because of their capacity to release dopamine in the brain
And the problem with that is that it’s a very addictive mechanism and so if you’re stressed and you use pokies for relaxation And the likelihood is that you will become addicted and that you will end up suffering considerable harm Every year pokies rips billions of dollars out of the pockets of Victorians including 570 million dollars in the last year from my electorate in the south-east alone Australians are far and away the world’s biggest gamblers.
And the reason for that is because there are poker machines everywhere there’s no doubt in my mind that poker machine operators target areas of disadvantage and what they do is they are very good at making poor areas poorer and keeping poor people poor. In the residential part of Greater Dandenong you are within walking distance of a pokies venue wherever you are We have increased crime increased family violence in areas where we have problems in terms of crime and family violence already very high amounts of poverty and a lack of community life
People in Monash lost more than 109 million dollars on pokies last year We’ve spoken out quite strongly against Pokies and tried to seek reform but local government really doesn’t have much say at all, unfortunately When it comes to pokies Gambling is the biggest threat to public health after smoking and drinking and like those industries the gambling industry is not going to regulate itself government has to regulate but instead of reducing the number of pokies Labor and the Liberals have guaranteed pokies licenses for the next few decades.
The industry is not going to self-regulate. They’re making too much money and when you’re in business you’re in the business of making money and they’re making a lot of money. So why would they put limitations on it? Somebody else has to do it. Isn’t it government’s job?
We want to make changes such as giving more power to local councils to reject pokies and limiting bets to $1.00 a go to stop pokies sucking the life out of our communities I spent 10 years addicted to the pokies and nobody knew how bad it was nobody had any idea. I walked around told myself I was a loser. I was a loser but not to that degree, not to that degree. I was a target.
I was a targeted market and now they want our kids. I say enough is enough