Brass In Pocket

Posted: May 13, 2013 in Local Politics, Politics, The Battle For Western Sydney

There has been a lot of talk recently about Tony Abbott and how he plans to make a stance on gambling, and the word is that Tom Waterhouse won’t be happy.

Tony Abbott is tipped to be looking at stopping live odds being advertised during the broadcast of sporting events, such as the AFL and the rugby league. There is a feeling in the community that a line has been crossed particularly in the rugby league where Tom Waterhouse seems to be on TV screens more than the actual game.

There is certainly a need to address this issue and with problem gambling such a hot topic of discussion, any debate on the subject should be welcomed.

However I think it is reasonable to question Tony Abbott and the Coalitions motives and track record when it comes to problem gambling, particularly when you look at what is going on in Coalition led NSW.

What I say and what I mean are not necessarilly related...

What I say and what I mean are not necessarilly related…

Here in NSW problem gambling has bubbled to the surface yet again with news of a bill being put forward by the Coalition that will allow small clubs to put in gambling machines such as Roulette and Blackjack machines that allow for higher cash bids. In a state that has more poker machines than Las Vegas I’m sure more ways to lose the kids lunch money is just what problem gamblers need.

So why are the Coalition doing this?

It is all about fulfilling a promise to Clubs NSW and thanking them for their support during the election campaign.

Funny Barry didn’t think that his promise to NSW families to keep amateur hunting out of the National Parks we take the kids to for bush walks and picnics was quite so important, oh well, that just families…

It is also worth remembering  just how much support came from the clubs during the Tony Abbott’s fight against the pokie reforms that were being pushed by Julia Gillard. Many pubs and clubs still have the anti-Labor banners on display.

So I wonder if Abbott also plans to return the favor?

In NSW we are scratching our heads as to the logic of Barry O’Farrell’s seeming determination to see a pokie next to every ATM, and our life savings handed to the nearest club.

Cup'a'Soup for dinner tinight kids, cos daddy fed the pokie a Cup'a'Change

Cup’a’Soup for dinner tonight kids, cos daddy fed the pokie a Cup’a’Change

There is no doubt whatsoever that problem gambling is causing heartache and suffering in many families around the state. Clubs are not part of the solution either, despite what they tell you, unless that is you consider a drug dealer as part of the solution for a junkie, or Liquorland as part of the solution for alcoholism.

Those who talk about the “Nanny State” are having themselves on also. The whole self-responsibility argument is like putting a loaded pistol in the hands of someone with suicidal tendencies and when their brains end up on the wall saying “I didn’t make them pull the trigger”.

If this was a valid argument we would not have the gun laws we do now, nor would we have the drink driving laws we do now, and we would not have speed limits on our roads.

I think that the Costello brother with intelligence and integrity, Tim Costello said it best when he said

“It is a dereliction of duty to loosen gambling restrictions for the benefit of the gambling industry and not the public. It is breathtaking that the state never says our first duty is to protect the public from something that is addictive”

It is also interesting to note that the area that will feel the impact the most from these Coalition plans for increased gambling capabilities is Sydney’s Western Suburbs. The same suburbs that are so important this Federal campaign.

I thought that the Coalition were supposed to care for those living in these suburbs?

Isn’t Barry O’Farrell Minister for Western Sydney?

Why then would he set out to intentionally harm those he has chosen to look after the interests of?

The Coalition keep saying they understand those living in Sydney’s West, and maybe that’s part of the problem. Understanding them seems to only have improved the way the Coalition set about picking their pockets.

Did someone say Western Sydney?

Did someone say Western Sydney?

Under Barry O’Farrell and the Coalition in NSW we have seen the green light for a second casino, and now an attempt to roll out more effective ways for local clubs to fleece us of our money.

What we would see under a Federal Coalition government is quite a scary thing to contemplate.

In NSW we used to refer to the old poker machines as “one-armed bandits”.

Now the bandits are running the state.

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  1. galileodarwin says:

    Absolutely true, Peter and brilliantly argued. However, you are wrong about a minor point that does not detract at all from your argument here. Tim Costello shows “intelligence and integrity” on this matter of the NSW Government’s responsibility to protect its citizens who are addicted gamblers from the depredations of the gambling industry profiteers. However, his hatchet job on Craig Thomson on Q&A has to be condemned as an un-Christian act of an ignorant person who saw fit to pass an uninformed judgment on a person he does not know. He made condemnatory statements about Craig Thomson that amounted to making judgments without evidence.He seemed to have forgotten that part of the “Sermon on the Mount” recorded in the Gospel of St Matthew which warns us not to judge our neighbours before examining ourselves – in which case we will not judge at all (Matthew 7:1-5). It’s extraordinary that agnostics like me know about this but not an ordained minister of the church. Yes, I am judging Tim Costello: the difference is that my judgment is based on clear evidence, whereas his judgment is not.

  2. Terry says:

    The National Party candidate for the seat of Gilmore has poker machine named in his honour,

  3. clarittee says:

    Saw the same programme. Couldn’t understand where the “judgement ” came from because as said the ‘word” is clear in judging others. The separation of powers between church and state and the judiciary and with the parliamentary antics are a serious matter also that make me particularly distrustfull of the Current LieNP.
    Apart from this ” aberration”? Tim has been a valuable exemplar of socially responsible values. In stark contrast from his ever laughing brother who is obviously no longer Kroger’s friend. How sad. They both deserve each other.
    Keep it up Peter…

  4. Bob Lloyd says:

    Great article Wixxy. Very well argued.

  5. Patricia Norman says:

    If you are going to attack gambling you have to attack all of it not just the Pokies. The Pokies have the elderly,the elderly get free tea and coffee and can keep cool and warm while enjoying the company of others. Women like the Pokies because they can spend a few hours out anytime without being bothered. The gambling is not the main reason these folk go to the Pokies

  6. David.S says:

    Gambling is not the main reason these folks go to the Pokies? Perhaps for some but many others go hoping to actually win money. Then they win some and get excited, they’re on a streak! An hour later they’ve withdrawn the rent money from the conveniently placed atm because they can feel a big win coming. It doesn’t come. They go home angry with themselves and take it out on their families. The family separates and the gambler sinks into an abyss of depression but still gambles because the small wins are still enough to give them hope. Yeah, family friendly. Funny enough as I write this Tony Waterhorse has popped on the television to give me some tips and odds. He ended it with “Gamble responsibly” Cringe worthy.

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