Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A Tale of the Ol' West

South Dakota is known as the Mount Rushmore state. It's where four presidents likenesses have been blasted out of a mountain and people pose so that their finger appears to be sticking up Abe Lincoln's nose. It is also the state where pokies were banned for three months in 1994. This real world experience provides a true guide as to what might happen if the harm of pokie gambling were somehow limited.

Is the answer as the politicians and the monster Clubs Australia lobby predict? Will problem punters find other harmful ways to gamble?


What happened according to is:
"...the inquiries about gambling and the number of individuals receiving treatment for problem gambling diminished abruptly. When the machines were turned back on, there was a prompt increase in both of these categories.
These changes occurred despite the fact that alternative forms of legal gambling were available (i.e., scratch tickets, Indian Reservation casino gambling, and multi-state lotteries). This suggests that video lottery gambling machines presents a unique risk for the development of problems severe enough to prompt treatment. These data suggest little substitution of other forms of gambling occurred when video lottery gambling was not available."
These are not the conclusions of but a summary of the findings of a paper issued by the South Dakota Journal of Medicine co-written by two persons holding doctorate degrees and two with medical degrees in either psychiatry or psychology.

I would be happy to email anyone a copy. Just write to me at

This should end the speculative fantasy that the clubs are trying to fabricate into fact by virtue of repetition.


Anonymous said...

Paul, you are really running out of useful and constructive narrative if you have to resort to quoting Wild West happenings in the USA in the last century as if it somehow remains relevant to today.

It happened in 1994 which is 17 years ago – rather out of date I would have said;

There was none, or at least, very little on-line gaming available – lots of people didn’t have computers or mobile phones to access the products;

There was very little wagering on horses as we know it;

And Sports Betting wasn’t even thought of.

Today there is a multitude of un-regulated forms of gambling across Australia and the World that entice people to play.

A totally different landscape.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, don't let your rhetoric get ahead of your rationality:
* Why call it "the Wild West", as though that makes it irrelevant? People are people anywhere & in any time.
* When "the last century" is only 12 years ago, it's hardly the Dark Ages.
* Lots of research older than 17 is still depended on.
* Whether or not there were the specific alternatives to pokies that you mention, there were alternatives, but they were ignored. Therefore the landscape is not "totally different", even much different, at all.
* The bottom line is, when there are pokies, there is more gambling [much of it at problem levels]; when there are not, there is much less.