Thursday, June 21, 2012

The poor need one armed bandits

A hotel we are known to frequent occasionally is the Dick Whittington in Chapel Street St Kilda. The staff are fantastic and the rest that goes with the hotel is ok. It has poker machines too.

Just around the corner is the garage where I have had my car serviced, off and on, for thirty odd years. Buildings behind the garage were demolished for a new development, and then for a long time it was just a vacant block of very convenient land that the garage opened up a fence for car storage.

We noticed a construction was going up on the vacant land. Ohhh, housing for the poor, no doubt much of it being paid out of my rates. Surely money for housing the poor should come from our State and Federal governments and not City of Port Phillip rate payers.

While there has long been a high rise for the poor block not too far from the Dick Whittington, this new one is quite a large development.

The Dick Whittington has applied to have more poker machines and I believe they received approval for them. Funnily, it in our capitalist society, I don't blame the hotel for trying to increase their profits.

However, one can't help but see the connection between new public housing right opposite the hotel and more poker machines.

As someone who has on more than one occasion wasted five dollars in the one armed bandits that are now speedily electronic to extract maximum dollars from you at maximum speed, I had a fairly benign view of poker machines. They were something for me to waste five dollars in, with a possible promise of riches. As for our other gambling vice that we spend $5 each a week upon, Tattslotto, neither has made us rich.

We go to Crown Casino occasionally to dine. I see so many people with miserable expressions on their faces as they gamble away their money. Shouldn't recreation be happy?

In spite of my recent praise of our ex premier Joan Kirner, sadly she was instrumental in bringing poker machines to Victoria.

I'd reckon if you asked her, she would say it was a mistake. What was my fairly benign view of poker machines has now become hatred. Legalised many extra forms of gambling has done some terrible things to our city and state. How could the introduction of all this gambling make for a better society? We should have just stuck to the TAB, which is bad enough for some, and some illegal backrooms.


  1. What's ironical is where I live it is Indian elderly housing, funded by the federal government for some residents, and right next door to our village is one of the tribe's casinos. I'm guessing but I'd say at least half of our residents spend the majority of their checks there on the slots. Of course many have their own retirement money and don't depend on social security alone, but somehow they are able to spend almost all their money in the casino. I don't get why they do it except that some are bored and like cheap thrills. It brings a lot of money into the tribe but at what cost? I like that the tribe gets the money because they pass it on but I don't like what it does to people who spend their checks there.

  2. We need more one arm bandits just like we need more holes in our head. Isn't it any wonder some people have a gambling problem with temptation right on their door steps :-).

  3. Here's a scoop for you, nothing on the news about it yet, the Newport IGA supermarket was held up by machete-wielding bandits this afternoon, similar to the Port Melb Coles job last week.

    I expect the dirty Liberal party to give no protection for suckers. That pokies were introduced here by a Labor party is unforgiveable.

  4. Rubye, I understand that casinos on reservations (sorry about the terminology, but that is how I know them as) are widespread and similar to as you describe. It is a terrible waste, but also, if they are not asking for handouts and still managing their money, and if it gives them pleasure, why not. It might be nice if they put the money toward their children's or grandchildren's education though.

    Windsmoke, the opportunities for gambling are so in your face now, anyone inclined would be hard pressed to resist.

    RH, aka the Newshound from Newport, reporting in. Hope you weren't caught up. Labor certainly is a very different beast now.

  5. I loathe the damn things; killed off the live music in pubs culture, created a new tier of poor children growing up to the sounds of their parents making excuses and, to add insult to injury, the damn industry pleads poor when regulation was staring them in the face.

  6. And how powerful did the lobby show itself to be, with an anti gambling person who holds the government together, still barely any action.

  7. I don't think I've ever seen many people looking happy when playing those machines.

  8. Me either Fen. Why?

  9. its like in casinos there is a dark cloud over the lot in spite of all the bells and whistles