Tuesday, 23 November 2010

ALP gambling policy: straight from 1984 or Animal farm: will Robinson hold his seat?

I dips me lid to the Deakin University researchers who interviewed more than 200 staff at Melbourne's Crown Casino, without the company's knowledge.  Now that's what I call good research.  

Couple of questions though?  Did this go through Deakin's Ethics Committee and get the OK for methodology?  If the Ethics Committee has not heard about this research method, I'll bet London to a brick on that they will have by now.  Phone calls, emails, and no Twitters from Crown management!

Anyway, I love it because there is an authenticity about what has been reported here ever so briefly as some of the research findings.  

Some of the workers said they would not intervene if a patron was distressed, and failed to recognise the signs of problem gambling.
Other staff have reported poker players urinating and defecating on the gaming floor because they did not want to stop playing poker machines.
The report claims the casino would call taxis instead of ambulances for injured patrons and staff in an effort to cover up the number of incidents at the venue.
I find Casinos and pokies palaces charmless places.  And I have waxed lyrical on previous occasions:-

Can we have a Royal Commission into the Spirit of Australia...

There is no doubt.  So many citizens keep shovelling it up to the government, cartloads to the door: research, public opinion, stuffed ballot boxes, broken lives, broken footballers.  Still there is little done.  And when we take some moves forward against this pernicious invasion of our lives and our spirits, there are always the legislators and their friends in the gambling and licensing industry to take things backward.
I live in the electorate of the current Minister for Gaming. Don't ya love it! He's the minister for Consumer Affairs as well. I find that an irony.  So electors of Mitcham just remember.

Back in August the Victorian Government was telling us this about ATMs and EFTPOS.  Yesterday we were told this:
A device that could be used to sidestep a new ban on automatic teller machines in poker machine venues has been given the all clear by Gaming Minister Tony Robinson. 

Honesty? Deceit? Transparency? Truth-telling? Responding to the electorate?  Responding to corporate heavies? Responding to political donors? Responding to gamblers?  Responding to consumers? And, now for the hardest bit, would the Liberal/National Parties be any different?

Related reading:
In the Pursuit of Winning: Problem Gambling Theory, Research and Treatment

The Biology of Gambling (The Gambling Theory and Research Series, V. 3)

The Psychodynamics and Psychology of Gambling: The Gambler's Mind (Gambling Theory and Research Series, V. 1)

Further reading:

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