MARK M ALDRIDGE - "voice of the Community" Community Advocate
The Gambling bug
 
Several years ago I wrote several article on the devastating effects of gambling, easy for me because I had a huge problem myself, which I had kept control off, until the introduction of the dreaded pokies.
 
Whilst I had a total lack of control, the one issue that would have helped is limited access to funds in Hotel venues, say $100 as a maximum withdrawal from Pub ATMs.
 
The second was the amount one could bet with every push of the button, with some machines able to devour up to $20 per push of the button, couldn’t we restrict that to say $1.00 dollar?
 
Whist Pokies remain a major problem in our State; On Line Casinos and the rise in the Texas Holdem phenomenon are now leaving them behind.
 
The seemingly regular Television Adds promoting safe online gambling in our State, need immediate investigation by those we entrust with our futures, these of shore based Casinos, flout every protection we have come to expect, age restrictions are solved with one click of the mouse, and with credit cards, and instant back access, one can loose their home from the comfort of our living room.
 
Based in Gibraltar, are they untouchable? It may be the case that they can flout our consumer protections with ease, so could we at least consider in the short term restricting their access to our media services?
 
My Investigations into these problems have uncovered all sorts of what could only be described as evil practices, and make the scourge of our Pokie machines almost tolerable.
 
Pokie Machines use all sorts of gimmicks to entice continued play, as do the clubs that own them, online casinos, go so much further, with the offer of Million Dollar rewards, free money for those that don’t log on for a specific time, and various other well planned promotions, making matters worse, even if you secure what appears to be a win, in some cases you can not even take your winnings?
 
It is time for immediate action, on these important issues, but do we have a government that can do that?
 
Mark M Aldridge
Independent Candidate for the Legislative Council
P O Box 1073 Virginia S.A. 5120
08 82847482 / 0403379500
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