Pokies Blamed for Aussie Gambling Woes

Tia Winter | 21 December 2018

It’s been referred to as the ultimate failure in social policies. In fact, it’s an on going accusation, judging by various Tweets released into the ether by various seemingly embittered social media users. Sadly, is not an isolated opinion. We’re talking of course of Australia’s ever-expanding gambling-related set of problems. Moving even closer to the core of the perceived problem: Pokies. Both online and off are the target of those Down Under who are looking to play the blame game.

Aussies Love To Feed The Machines

People are losing money, and Pokies are being vilified as the drivers behind the losses. In fact, if government statistics for 2018 are to be believed, these games are to blame for more than 50% of all gambling losses tallied for the year so far. Interestingly enough, the machines have been assigned a will of their own. The human factor seems to be nowhere near in play.

This, of course, only serves to fuel the bitter brawl between anti-gambling extremists and casino operators. For as long as memory serves, human kind has embraced the notion that it can only be held accountable for some of its decisions. At some point or other, a dark force enters the equation, swaying weaklings to its will and bringing the strong to their knees.

From that point onwards, we are no longer responsible for feeding the monster. Or, as anti-Pokies activists love to preach to anyone willing to lend half an ear, feeding the machine.

Man Vs. Machine

But the mud-slinging aside, global UK-based gambling analysts H2 Gambling Capital did pin Aussie players as having a bigger problem keeping their spending urges under control than players living in most other world-regions.  A risk-analysis revealed that in 2017, gambling losses racked up by Australian adults amounted to a rough average of $968 per person, for the year.

Hong Kong came in at a strong second place, with local adults entering the race at $768 per participating major person, per year. But are Pokies to blame for all of our money problems? Probably to the same extent as what alcohol is to blame for all broken marriages.

Over-indulgence in every instance remains a choice and leading online casinos offer multiple exclusion options and other controls, so at the end of the day, the onus is on the player to enforce them, and the gambling brands to promote them.

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