Friday, 4 February 2011

A rant about gambling

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Did you know that you can bet on whether the first points of a rugby match will be scored by a penalty goal?

Or whether there will be a 'no ball' in the 8th over of a cricket match?

I was listening to the radio this morning and learned about all of my options in sports betting. It is outrageous!What the hell is happening in this country? Gambling has taken over.

I have never been a fan of gambling. It pissed me off in the 1990s when most the 'live music' venues replaced bands with poker machines. It is practically impossible to see a band play in a small venue in Sydney now. But if you want to throw a $20 into the pokies, you have a plethora of choices. What is that all about? I guess I am pissed off again, huh?

It used to be that the Melbourne Cup was the big day for betting in Australia. It probably still is, I know it is the only betting I do, but you can now 'have a punt' any day of the week, on any multitude of events. Dogs. Horses. Rugby. Cricket. Golf. Soccer. Basketball. Name your sporting competition. Local, national and international competitions, all within reach. Just a click of a button away.

You will be able to bet on your child's soccer match soon, the way things are going.

It is crazy. There is little wonder that Gamblers Anonymous has been created to help people who identify as having a gambling problem. It is so accessible. So acceptable. Another risk-taking behaviour gets the government's stamp of approval? Our government makes money (taxes) from gambling. It is in their interest to get a few more of us hooked. Gambling, smoking and alcohol. The government's big money spinners.

Families are torn apart by gambling. People lose their jobs, their houses, their families and their dignity.

Odds are (excuse the pun!) that some of you have been effected by this nasty past-time. I reckon it is time we took a stand against this. I sure do not want my children getting into it. There is too much at stake. I am going to boycott all things gambling henceforth. No more Melbourne Cup. No footy tipping. And no (extremely infrequent) games of blackjack.

What is your feeling about gambling?

24 comments:

The Shrinking Vegetarian said...

Oh yeah - it is SO accepted now. people think I am strange because i WON'T put "Just $5" into the pokies. I can get me a drink with that $5 thank you very much!

I have seen a family nearly dissolve over this issue. Mum was hocking the kids TV's just to get extra money. Nearly lost the house.

Even the casino where I live is 50% pokies now. All the old games, the bars, the bands, they are all gone. It is just a big pokie room.

Maxabella said...

I'm ranting right next to you. I don't get it and I won't get it. Gambling is insidious and wretched and wasteful and nasty. x

Allison Bonar said...

You should live in Las Vegas like I do and see the real effects of gambling. I for one could seriously care less and NEVER gamble. Mostly because I don't like to give away my money and partly because I think it's boring.

Good Golly Miss Holly! said...

Gambling bores me. Never been a fan of pokies or poker ... or anything gambling related really. I don't even place a bet on the Melbourne Cup!

A friend of mine though battles a serious addiction to pokies. He is now 3 months 'clean' and I couldn't be prouder. I have watched him put so much money through them over the years, the devastation of a loss, that scary euphoria of a win - and it would break my heart. I can't bear to think how these addictions affect those with families. Sigh.

therhythmmethod said...

It's a pretty sad state of affairs, isn't it? I don't get it. I'm with you.

Cate said...

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of just flushing my money down the loo either! Just don't get why anyone would...
xxxCate

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I have always been too chicken to do much gambling. I work (or worked, as the case may be!) too hard for my money...and gambling is just not that fun to me...to risk losing it on something so silly. I'd much rather blow some cool cash on a new pair of shoes! :)

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Michelle said...

I think it's just like any other addiction. People with an "addictive" personality shouldn't do it! It could ruin relationships the way any other addiction does. But, I do like to play the slots every now and then(only 3 times in the last 10 years). I always usually break even. And here, when you're playing they bring you "free" drinks. So, my $5 spent gambling is the same as $5 spent on drinks. I never play big tables. Don't know enough and it just wouldn't be fun for me. But, I do see your point of view.

Amanda-The Nutritionist Reviews said...

Aww your boys are adorable!

I just found your blog through the Boost My Blog Friday Hop. Have a great weekend!

Amanda @ www.nutritionistreviews.com

Lucy said...

MM- you probably can guess my thoughts. I find ANY addictive behaviour abhorant and frightening.

I watched "The Lakes" again recently, and I literally have to cover my eyes as the main character persists with his gambling addiction. It terrifies me.

Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

Good rant. Someone I know has been affected by this, and it is sad and destructive. One of my favourite songs is "Blow Up the Pokies" by The Whitlams.

A Christy Production said...

I 100% agree. I think it's evil and addictive. Many peoples lives are ruled by addictions and the rest of us have to put up with it.

I tell you which addictive behaviour REALLY irks me.... pornography.

A Christy Production said...

FYI - I've never even bought a raffle ticket, put $2 into a toy or chocolate claw machine at the shops.. diddly squat. I refuse to partake in gambling in any shape or form.

Muddled Up Mumma said...

Stopping by to rewind... I also don't get it. Poker machines do my head in...and as for all this complaining by sporting clubs that the proposed "limit" legislation will be the end of them... well, don't get me started!

joeh said...

I enjoy a friendly game of poker ($5-10 buy-in) a small bet on the superbowl, or risking maybe $100 at a casino once and a while. I love winning, losing sucks. If casino gambling was banned I would not mind, overall it is a negative in society as too many people get hooked.

Cranky

Mrs Catch said...

Can't understand gambling either. It has sucked the life out of clubs, Where's the fun in watching lots of blank faces staring at machines? Gambling creates so much misery and it's such a damn waste!

Diminishing Lucy said...

I am still with you. In the pub the other day, in the bistro, the kids asked me what pokies were for. We were stumped. Gambling leaves me cold. It terrifies me. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will never ever get addicted to it. Xx

Kim H said...

I'm so with you on this one. I've never understood the whole gambling thing. I guess I'm not a risk taker so all I think about is what a waste of flipping money for nothing! It spilts families and causes so many people to go into financial ruin. Poker machines should be banned - they are one of the biggest causes of gambling ruin.

Rant. Rant. Over and out;)

Miss Pink said...

I don't really see the interest in it.
I don't!
I have NEVER put money into the pokies, placed a bet, or even brought a scratchie. The odds are so highly stacked against you that you're highly unlikely to win. What a waste. I don't see how people can really get excited over it when you're losing far more times than you're winning, and when you're winning it's rarely anything substansial. I can gaurentee you will never make back all your losses.

I definitely think they should bring back the live bands in pubs! They were gone before I was 18, but they would have been fun. I remember growing up where your "local" was a place you could go watch the sports and take your family, kids included for a meal, now you can't even take your kids for a good "pub feed" because they're not 18 and most places you have to walk through the pokies to get into them. It's stupid. Save the gambling for the casino's and get it out of everywhere else.

But I guess this is another case like cigarettes. The government will tell you it's bad for you, and not to do it, but they won't take it away to save LIVES and FAMILIES because they earn too much from them.

Kamika said...

i will admit to doing some beer inspired gambling at the horse tracks....but all in all I am not a fan of gambling. It ruins lives, and really? The fact that we have money to GAMBLE with while children are starving around the world? Kinda sick if you think about it>

Amy said...

It has been pissing me off lately too. I was watching the Broncos v West Tigers game last month (at least I think it was them...) and heard the commentators say that someone had put 15k on the tigers to win. At that stage they were losing, luckily for the person that 15k on a footy match???

Even the V8's this weekend! Sports bet keeps popping up with their betting updates! I think that should be banned for telecasts. They shouldn't be able to advertise during any sporting event. They have tobacco sponsorship and advertising from sports, I think they should do the same for betting!

Marcy said...

I also don't get into gambling. I think about how many minutes I had to work to earn the money for each bet. Kind of takes the fun out of it! I love playing cards, though, and if there's a Texas holdem tournament at a house party it's fun to play for a small entry price--I've never won the pot though.

Saucy B said...

I've never particularly enjoyed or had much of an interest in gambling. It's funny, I've been to Las Vegas here in the U.S. at leat 4 times for business and pleasure and on some of those trips I didn't gamble a dime.
I think if you have a tendency toward addiction in your make up, gambling can be a major pitfall just like alcohol.

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