BUSINESS

Reforms would stifle community spirit

TAGs: Australia

pokies machinesA church group has added its two-pence into the debate on pokies reform in Australia. The InterChurch Gambling Taskforce has taken its campaign to the office of Prime Minister Julie Gillard and it would see the heart of many communities torn out if they came into effect.

The plans include limiting the hours that gaming venues can stay open, a reduction, to $1, on the amount at stake for each play. They also support plans that would see ATMs banned in pokies venues and marketing by online gambling industry companies and sports betting companies reigned in.

Taskforce chairman Mark Zirnzak said, “They are probably not going to fix problem gaming, but what we need are safeguards.

“That is what these are.”

What he has failed to realize is that in some communities the clubs that will suffer irreparable damage from the pokies ban and thus mean that the social lives of many will be adversely affected.

Putting such stringent measures in place would also have an impact on the happiness of the individuals who come to the clubs. It was well outlined by Dr Patrick Basham who stated that retirees who “remain active in the community and constantly engage in social activity, often, largely or exclusively through gambling, live happier and healthier lives.”

He also added, “a taste for risk is essential for human development. Entrepreneurship and risk-taking have always been essential parts of a progressive society and a progressing society.”

A large part of that would be torn away from those that use the clubs in rural communities and mean that they live a less happy life.

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