In Victoria, Melbourne gambling addiction has been an increasing problem. A pokies pilot program is being rolled out in all of Melbourne to try to aid in reducing gambling addiction, an announcement on June 19, 2015 stated. According to the details, 100 volunteer players will be using pokie machines that have a betting limit. A total of 14 venues are participating in the trial. These locations include Abbotsford, Bendigo, Altona, Brunswick, Dandenong, Caulfield South, Hampton, Geelong, Footscray, and Newport. The trial starting in the later part of June is going to lead to a full scale bet limit under a multimillion dollar scheme to start in December.

The trial is looking for glitches the bet limit software may have. The gamblers are going to test it, so the casinos can determine if the technology is going to work. Experts are not sure it will be the right move to help with gambling addiction.

Monash University professor, Dr. Charles Livingstone stated other trials have been done further inland, but these trials have failed. He is asking for the system to be mandatory for all players once a working system is in place.

The current scheme is only going to be voluntary. It means a player can use machines without the software in place. Dr. Livingstone stated that Queensland and South Australia tried a similar trial, but the rates have been small in gamblers adopting the voluntary option. It is a step forward, according to the professor, but more needs to be done. Dr. Livingstone also believes a maximum bet of $1 needs to be placed all on machines.

The trial is beginning with $2 million in funding for its 2015-2016 budget. However, the program has already cost tens of millions to develop and implement on the machines. Gamblers taking part in the program will have a card that allows them to set a limit, set thresholds, and track their habits for wagering on pokies. There will also be advice, support, and counselling available for those who need it.

One Response

  1. Marilyn Lancelot

    Imagine your grandmother sitting in the back of a patrol car in handcuffs. I was that woman and the gambling addiction destroyed my heart and soul, and was the most humiliating moment of my life. Some people asked the question, “Why didn’t you just stop.” Compulsive gambling is cunning, baffling, and powerful and it’s difficult to understand the addiction because no chemicals or substances are ingested into the body.

    Almost every day the newspaper, TV, radio and magazines carry stories about the compulsive gambler who is sent to prison for a crime to support their habit, committed suicide because of the shame, or they are being locked up in a psyche ward.

    Drugs and alcohol are not the only two addictions that destroy lives. While you are reading this paragraph, someone you know may be embezzling money to support their gambling problem. High school students and senior citizens are becoming addicted and seniors are spending their life savings. At their age there is no chance of returning to the work place to supplement their income. Addictions are the most untreated treatable mental illnesses and there is help. With the explosion of on-line gambling, the number of compulsive gamblers will increase.

    I have an on-line Newsletter to help the female gamblers and the link is: http://www.femalegamblers.info I have also written three books which detail my becoming addicted to gambling and alcohol, the devastation, and my recovery. The titles are, Gripped by Gambling, Switching Addictions, and Detour.

    Sincerely,
    Marilyn Lancelot

    Reply

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