Monday, July 27, 2009

PPOP culture - say no to pokies

Don't worry about the swine flu people, there is something far more insidious heading this way from the eastern states if what we're hearing has an ounce of truth - the cursed pokie machine.

I'm not sure about the business agenda of the Bendat boy and his claims that Coles and Woolworths are bringing pokie machines to Perth, but if he's got the cojones to take them on and stop this scourge in its tracks, all power to him.

I'm no wowser and to be honest, I couldn't give a fat rat's clacker if people want to pour their hard-earned into a machine to get their thrills - each to their own.

But be warned. The Sunday outing to Burswood for Nanna to spend a nice day at the Caz and come home with change from a twenty, this is not. Nor is it the odd flutter when you're tanked just for a laugh. No, this the very thin end of a very fat and intrusive wedge.

After living in Melbourne for 10 years the pokies lose the 'harmless fun' sheen very quickly. You don't have to go very far to find row after row of gormless people of all ages sitting dull eyed in front of their 'favourite' machines, feeding coins into slots and punching flashing buttons like robots in a car assembly line. Grandmas have been clubbed to death to feed pokie addictions.

Yeah, it's a happening scene alright. But what really shits me about pokies is what they do to the local pub. In essence, a pub full of pokies is about as much fun as having a cyst taken out of your eyeball. And let's be honest, the pub scene in Perth is already dire enough. Adding pokies would be like an ice pick frontal lobotomy on a patient already struggling for signs of life.

Can you imagine popping down to your local for a quiet ale and a yarn, only to be confronted by a hideous wall of machines that compete with each other for your dollar by sporting the most garish, fit-inducing bells and whistles possible?

We're not talking that romantic vision of the old 'one armed bandit' where you pull the lever and watch the pop-art style cherries and diamonds spin frantically to stop in a shower of golden coins at your feet. No, we're talking electronic boxes covered in terrible artwork that will swallow your money in whatever form (notes as well as coins) as quickly as you care to feed them.

The issue was discussed today on the NOVA 937 breakfast show and there was talk of why wouldn't you have these in your pub if they generate income? We could offer cheaper food and drink and the punters would love that - wouldn't they?

My response? Would you go and eat a $10 chicken parma and pint in the public crappers at Kings Park just because it's a bargain? How about $5 bangers and mash in the emergency department at Charlie's?

It's all about A.T.M.O.S.P.H.E.R.E and a pub full of pokies has foregone that right for the sake of chasing a dollar. Live bands, quiz nights, great food? Nah, who needs that sort of time consuming nonsense when you can just plug a machine into a wall and let it do its thang.

Don't get me wrong, Melbourne still has a pub scene that is second to none, but once you push further from the CBD and the choice that precinct offers, the scourge of pokies is more entrenched.

And don't be fooled by any promise that gambling areas would be separated from the main drinking / dining areas. Pokies are dangled in front of punters shamelessly - you can even get free tea and coffee if you've got a pocket fat with coin.

No. It's time for Perth People Over Pokies (PPOP) to take a stand and keep these soul destroying vermin from making their way across the Nullabor to breed with their buddies at Burswood.

Make your mark on the pokie poll to the right, share this link and stay tuned for the facebook page.


Jim Gunson said...

Spent the last eight years in England. Lovely pubs. Many ruined by the presence of "Fruit Machines". Not just the racket, but their sheer ugliness.

Ben said...

Pokies are horrible don't let them sneak into Perth! We all need to object loudly and protect the live music scene in our pubs.

Anonymous said...

You're exactly right. We need to keep these out of Western Australia.

We should be looking at improving Perths dying pub scene - not completely destroying with these stupid machines.

PokieWatch said...

Great post.
I have been going after Woolies and Coles for over 18 months and will continue.
The focus is to raise debate about pokie gambling and the need for the operators themselves to shoulder a fair share of the blame for the harm these machines cause.
The goal is to ban children from the pubs and clubs that choose to have pokies.
And yes... still no response from Wesfarmers.

Cookster said...

Hi Paul
Glad to hear from you and good luck with your quest to get rid of these horible things.
Feel free to share my post and I'd be more than happy to publish a short article by you on TPF giving Perth people some insight into the perils of pokies - from the addiction, to the sheer ugliness they bring.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Does everybody like going out to a pub and paying $10 for a beer and $18 for a parmy?? People get a life and embrace them. Pokie machines will bring the cost of going out down so we can start to live life a lot more instead of being raped in the wallet!