I’m not a regular poker machine player myself but I have been known to while away half an hour when waiting for someone to arrive at the pub. Putting $20 through a machine stops me drinking too quickly and is a small price to pay for such a sensible diversion. The only thing that really annoys me is when I knock off my dollars too quickly and get tempted to go around again with another twenty. I guess it’s temptation something like that which is the real danger for the few who are really addicted to pushing the buttons.
Now our federal politicians are to examine ways of limiting the damage these unfortunates can do to themselves and all kinds of schemes are coming out of the woodwork that seem very Big Brotherish to me. So why not just change the rules so that the machine bandits cannot take a punter’s money so quickly? Change the payout ratio from the often thieving level below 90 percent to something in the high 90s and time itself will work on the side of prevention.