FROM THE NEWS DESK
Pokie machines make me feel nervous and guilty at the same time. I’ve written about the addictive impact of them, on people’s brain chemistry, the horrible drain on their finances, and the harm this does to them, to their families and society.
For all that, I still don’t understand the attraction of pokies; I find them a bit scary.
I understand it’s not really about winning, but escapism... getting hooked on a certain action, like a dog with a stick.
I’ve applied for pokie funding for various organisations myself; that’s the bit that makes me feel guilty. It made it possible for the group to succeed, but is that justifiable and right, and would I do it again? I’m not sure. I think it’s a sad indictment on society that to succeed we have to take advantage of someone’s addiction.
What I’d rather see is that we put a lot more of the proceeds back into helping the people who are pouring money into those machines in the first place. I’d be interested to know what you think, either by email or on the Clutha Leader Neighbourly page.