Fight NRL & Clubs on their addiction to problem gamblers & human misery

Fight NRL & Clubs on their addiction to problem gamblers & human misery

Fight NRL & Clubs on their addiction to problem gamblers & human misery

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by Jack Collins

A business built on problem gambling, is in my view, not a business at all. It is a problem. A deep, disturbing and incredibily destructive problem, one that destroys hundreds of thousands of families and leads to the destruction of so many lives.

The NRL & Clubs Australia would have us believe that pokies reform is 'unAustralian' , that it will destroy Clubs and all the good work they do in the community. But this is ridiculous and as the ad from GetUp shows, only 2.7% goes back to the community so the argument that community sports can't survive without problem gamblers is nonsense.

The problem is that the NRL has become addicted to problem gambling, both via the rugby league clubs reliance on subsidies from Leagues Clubs and from betting companies who sponsor the game.

The PR spin from the Clubs is that pre-commitment won’t help with problem gambling. But if this is the case then the ‘Clubs will be destroyed argument’ is also nonsense. It will have no effect on Clubs in the long term.

But my feeling from the huge amount of bluster coming from the Clubs and from their supporters that there is real fear that problem gambling will be slowed by a pre-commitment. Even problem gamblers don’t walk into the Club thinking to themselves ‘ I am going to blow my entire weeks’ wages tonight so my kids won’t eat and we can’t pay our rent’. Even problem gamblers and perhaps problem gamblers even more so than most, walk into the Club thinking they are going to win, not lose. So if you ask a person who’s expecting to win, what’s the most they want to lose, they don’t say $1,000 dollars, they say something more like ‘ oh I dunno, I guess $50 is the absolute maximum I’d be happy to lose tonight.’

What’s unAustralian about that? There are rules about drinking alcohol, you can’t serve beer to a person who is drunk. But you are allowed to keep a problem gambler at a poker machine way past their limit. So we are happy to have our beer drinking regulated but not our gambling.

Why is responsible service of alcohol essential in licensed premises, well for health, safety and personal protection reasons & if we didn’t have these laws we’d see a lot more problem drinking and the ensuing destruction on the person and their loved ones. And that’s what we have today with problem gambling. It is the equivalent of serving a drunk person beer after beer until they can’t stand (or in the gamblers case, until their pockets or bank accounts are empty).

Now that’s what I call unAustralia.

What about looking after your mate.

Helping someone who’s down and out?

Protecting those who can’t help themselves

What about doing the right thing, the decent thing.

What about putting morals before money.

I hope our other iconic Australian Dick Smith entrepreneur, doesn't have the same financial conflict as 2GB owner John Singleton, who owns a whole lot of poker machines.

It is not unAustralian to want to stop problem gambling. As a nation we have more poker machine per head than any other country and poker machine addiction is destroying real people & real families every day.

The NRL and David Gallop should be ashamed of itself for getting into bed with Clubs Australia and campaigning against pokie reform. NRL is the most watched sport on Australian television and the NRL only has its poor media rights deal to blame if Rugby League Clubs are dependent on the misery of others to field a professional sports team.

Whether or not you like the work GetUp does, if you believe poker machine reform is the right and decent thing to do to help ease the destruction and pain caused by problem gambling then you might like to donate to their TV campaign

Go to their website

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Paul Bendat posts

Sorry to let you down but iconic Dick Smith is owned by Woolworths, Australia's biggest pokie operator with over 12,000 pokies.

Paul, but you failed to add that person Dick Smith doesn't own retailer 'Dick Smith'. Seems like you don't want the facts to get in the way of an irrelevant linkage.

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