Letters to the editor - August 17

August 17 2018 - 6:00am
Letters to the Editor – August 17

Pokies reporting bias

Donald Trump’s call of Fake News is encapsulated by the Victorian media when they publish the VCGLR report on poker machine turnover, their biased reports are astounding a litany of falsehoods, half-truths and deliberate omissions that often masks their own self interests. In all forms of gambling the operators take out a commission to provide the service, whether it is racing, lotteries, the casino or running poker machines it’s the house’s cut. But only in regard to poker machines does this commission become the headline “Pokie Players lose Millions.” The press why decrying the scourge of poker machines, celebrate the instant millionaires created by lotto, the Herald Sun publishes a 16-page guide to racing every Friday and there’s a further three pages of racing news in the sports pages, the hypocrisy is mind numbing. The fact that the racing industry pays publishers millions of dollars a year to churn out race forms and results everyday may dull their conscience. The Standard is also complicit when it comes to aiding, abetting and promoting gambling on racing. Your newspaper detailed pokie losses as though the money had disappeared and was untraceable. If you reported more on the mathematics that underpins all gambling you would educate your readers to make some positive choices. Of the three popular forms of gambling, two of them lotto and pokies are random selection pure luck, racing is knowledge based. The three gambling options have different return to player generally pokies payout 90 per cent, racing 80 per cent and lotto 60 per cent. The proclaimers will howl, but pokie players keep playing and punters and lotto players don’t, get real. If you look at the real return to player it’s an eye opener, in racing 20 per cent of the punters take 80 per cent of the pool, the professional punters, the stables, the people in the “know”. The racing industry has been wracked by scandal with doping, race fixing, live baiting, trainers being handed life bans, jockeys being barred, high profile punters like Tony Morkbel being jailed, amusingly if you’re regarded as a criminal in normal life it’s gentrified in racing, you are referred to as a “colorful character”. The media always glorify the winners, they never focus on the mugs that are duped out of millions every week. The glorification of lotto, “it’s life changing”  is continually perpetrated in the media, the reality is astounding, if you look at the math on last week’s $70 million super draw there were three winners, the two winning ticket holders shared the $70 million, the operators picked up $46 million and the desperates for a better life lost $116 million minus the cost of the two winning tickets. If The Standard when reporting on poker machines was consistent there would have been a totally different headline. Punters win $171 million on pokies in Warrnambool. The essence or attraction of poker machine is that patrons are playing a game, they are buying entertainment they hope to win some money, or at best to break even, or even lose. Poker machines are an electronic game of pass the parcel namely confined to local regions. The winnings the $171 million was shared by the local pokie players, of the $19 million commission nearly half goes to the Victorian State Government as partners in gaming and the balance to the clubs and pubs in Warrnambool all local. Whether they are the business operators, their employees and families, the local tradesmen, and other business operators, or the thousands of club members, the money didn’t disappear, Einstein’s theory of relativity wasn’t debunked I can see the money every time I drive to Warrnambool.

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