Time to shred the old ‘Gambling Action Response’ script, Conroy

By Tom Cummings @NoFibs Gambling Reporter May 22, 2013 There’s a script floating around Canberra, called the “Gambling Action Response” script. It’s a succinct little document that gets dusted off and put into action every time someone has the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, we need to do something about the widespread incursion of gambling into every corner of our lives. Remember poker machines? They used to be THE hot gambling topic not so long ago. There was strong public support for changes to the poker machine industry and the pokies themselves, and the cause was led by a couple of politicians who championed their cause as hard […]

My people’s petition for Abbott to reveal his other IPA policies

By Tom Cummings (@cyenne40) April 15, 2013 The Australian Labor Party is often accused of being at the beck and call of the unions. Of course there is a decent element of truth in this, in so far as they both tend to focus on workers rather than corporations, and the historical links between Australia’s unions and the ALP are many. However, in recent years those links have weakened (although never broken) and the dynamic of today is different than it was 20 or 30 years ago. But what about the Liberal Party? What of their affiliations, their preferences? They have always come across as friends of industry and big business rather […]

Life after pokies: A musical solution

By Tom Cummings (@cyenne40) March 5, 2013 In New South Wales RSL clubs are synonymous with poker machines. They’ve been part of the furniture for decades, and many NSW RSLs have become sprawling entertainment meccas by riding on the back of gaming machine revenue. Unlike their northern cousins, however, Victorian RSLs have always had an uneasy relationship with the pokies. Maybe it’s because poker machines were a relatively late addition, only being legalised in Victoria in the early 1990s. Maybe it’s because clubs in Victoria have to play by the same rules as pubs, and don’t have a raft of advantages enshrined in law. Whatever the reason, poker machines have not, […]

Life after pokies: A grassroots fightback

By Tom Cummings (@cyenne40) February 25, 2013 There are an awful  lot of pubs and clubs in Australia. I should know; I’ve visited a lot of them. Country clubs, city pubs and everything in between; from Mooloolabah to Blacktown to Bright, and more besides. I’ve spent plenty of time in watering holes up and down the length of Australia’s east coast, and I’ve learned one fundamental truth. There are two types of pub in Australia, two types of club. Those with poker machines, and those without. No matter how you dress them up with fancy decor and boutique beers, or dress them down with fence-paling bars and chooks out the […]