Clutha Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

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.

Mary-Jo Tohill

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