gambling

One Last Spin: The Power & Peril of the Pokies
Drew Rooke
Scribe, 2018, 325 pages

Ever wondered if it possible to win against the pokies? Why not ask someone who should know, like a poker machine technician.

“I make these machines in order to grab your money,” one such techie said when asked by freelance Sydney journalist, Drew Rooke. “I would not be so stupid to play myself.”

The proposed fate of Istanbul’s Gezi Park has much in common with the current re-development plans for Barangaroo in Sydney’s East Darling Harbour. Sydneysiders concerned about the Crown/Lend Lease takeover bid can draw inspiration from the Gezi Park occupiers and send a clear message of defiance to James Packer’s fawning peons in the Barry O’Farrell government.

All over the world, the privatisation of public space is growing. As Anna Minton, leading policy analyst and author of Ground Control, has pointed out in connection with the situation in Britain.

It seems the one thing all Australians can agree on is that they hate Tom Waterhouse.

It is not much of a surprise, since anyone watching any sporting event is bombarded with ads for his sports betting business prominently featuring his smiling face.

The Forbes Billionaires list released last month included almost two dozen Australians in its ranks. Among them was mining boss Gina Rinehart, who has now become the richest person in Australia with a fortune of $17 billion.

This placed her 36th in the world, but her net wealth was still double that of her nearest fellow Australian billionaire, chief executive of commodities firm Glencore, Ivan Glasenberg.

Also on the list were finance elites, gaming kingpins and several other mining corporation owners.

“Poker machine playing is a repetitive and insidious form of gambling which has many undesirable features. It requires no thought, no skill or social contact. The odds are never about winning … the machines … are addictive to many people. Historically poker machines have been banned … in the public interest, they should stay banned.”

This quote is not from independent MP Andrew Wilkie, or “No Pokies” Nick Xenophon.

It is from the 1974 Royal Commission into Gambling, Western Australia.

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