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Melbourne town rebels against pokies in the pub

Pokies are part of every day life in gambling mad Australia and are usually found in gaming lounges in the local pubs. Electronic poker machines, or "pokies" for short, are where many Aussies spend part of their disposable income whilst enjoung a drink in their local pub or hotel. It is said that every suburb and every city has a pokie machine. But now there is an exception.

Jim Hogan, a wealthy Melbourne based businessman, proposed to renovate the Romsey Hotel and set up a gaming lounge which would be a first for this small town. However, after fierce lobbying from local residents, Romsey achieved the semmingly impossible task of defeating the pokie machines.

A five year legal battle in the Victorian Supreme Court concluded with the gaming licence being rejected in the town of only 4,500 residents. This was seen by some as a huge blow to the economy of the town, but those concerns were outweighed by the potential social problems that pokies may cause.

Recently, the Australian Government has been working to control the effect of pub pokies which remain unregulated in terms of how much money a single player can lose. The recent report by the Productivity commission in Australia has recommended a huge number of proposals to solve the problems.

The inevitable rise of Online Pokies is seen as the way forward for many. Gaming online requires player identification, age verification and allows operators and players to impose strict limits on how much money a single player can lose. It only seems a matter of time before Aussie gamblers take their business online.

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