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A Bit of Gambling
"Problem gambling" in Australia has been blamed on the laws being
eased over the last 20 years.
More than 80% of Australian adults are thought to gamble and its
government agrees gambling addiction has become a major social concern.
Particularly popular are a type of slot machine offering prizes of up
to £1m, nicknamed "pokies", which began cropping up in pubs and clubs as
laws were relaxed.
Nearly half the profits come from the pockets of problem gamblers who
lose on average $12,200 (nearly £5,000) a year, says the Australian
When the money runs out, they often turn to fraud and other criminal
activities to fund their habit, families are destroyed and many find
themselves made homeless.
In a radio interview in 2001, Prime Minister John Howard said:
"There’s no doubt that we have an absolute deluge of poker machines in
Australia. It’s one world record of which I am not in the least bit
In the UK, the new law would mean the introduction of £1m jackpot
slot machines and more casinos.
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2004 Online Casino News Archive