While there is a lot of controversy over the nature of gambling particularly with Pokies due to some of the gambling problems produced, not all of it is necessarily bad.
First of all, people can get addicted to anything these days, including food, exercise, work etc. The way people engage in activities in addition to the attitude and expectations they bring are what important. Knowing how to stop and say no to something is also crucial to someone looking to get involved in playing Pokies, and the same principles apply to other activities as well.
In places such as New Zealand, pokies facilities in SkyCity were recently approved for expansion by the local government, which is estimated to create over 800 jobs in the short term in addition to thousands more in the long term in order to sustain and manage facilities. This is expected to help the Auckland economy in addition to creating additional government earnings that in the future can be put back into the company for further projects.
In one way, this is going to help a lot of people, but it also could hurt a lot of people if they are too influenced by increased Pokies facilities (i.e. more accessibility). New Zealand’s economy can benefit, and the facilities can be used for international visitors who are looking for a quick entertainment fix during their stay. Not all of the facilities are focused on hoarding money from locals, and instead can be used to expand some of the local cultural gambling experience to outsiders as well who want access to it in a controlled environment. This is particularly true for Chinese tourists going to New Zealand and Australia.
Whether or not playing Pokies is inherently bad or if people make it bad is an interesting topic. People these days like entertainment, period. Within entertainment there are many ways to experience it, whether it is going to football matches, playing video games or going shopping. If we were to consider all the negative consequences that could arise from taking part in these activities the list would be endless, because peoples’ ability to turn something into a negative experience is endless just as their potential to limit themselves and make something positive from the experience is also limitless.
Whether we like to admit it, partaking in such games is also partaking in the consequences of the global economy, which prides itself on the constant consumption of goods and circulation of money, regardless if it is from food, entertainment or various necessities. If we think we can calculate the probability of a Pokie or at least believe that taking a chance on it is real, then the same can be said as when we aim to make money in the stock market or when we make other investments. While that may seem like a stretch, it is important to remember that there is randomness in everything and nothing in terms of making or losing money is 100%, even by gambling statistics, so we cannot necessarily blame Pokies as a bad choice or negative aspect of culture.
What we can view Pokies as, however, is another form of entertainment created from the demand for variety in entertainment. If people are reliant on it to make money as other people are in other means, then so be it as long as those means do not affect the freedom of others. That is called being a human being and being aware of one’s limitations in respect to one’s environment. If you think you can handle that then Pokies may be something for you but if you think you have a careless uncontrollable personality that lacks restrain and discipline, by all means stay away and engage in something less harmful such as stamp collecting. Everything has its place and is a byproduct of the environment, whether it is good or bad, so making the argument one way or the other is a bit difficult.
Overall, we hope that people can come to terms with their habits and see them as something that come and go, whether it is for gaming or whatever. No doubt it is much better for someone to get outside and enjoy some fresh air rather than sitting inside a smoke-infested room where you see your savings spilled away, but for some, they may not have the ambition, motivation or perhaps even ability to partake in such activities and are rather an “indoors” type of person. Believe me, they exist out of the gambling world. We need to be understanding of their reasons to gamble and also respect their decisions the same way we think we should be respected, so keeping an open mind about gambling entertainment is important.
If Pokies or other forms of gambling are controlling your life, however, it is best to stop and seek help immediately. There are many support groups for this, as there are support groups for all sorts of things. Don’t feel ashamed about it, because we all know enticing these games can be. But, if you think you are good at the games and like competing from the comfort of your tablet or indoor-based facilities, keep going and play responsibility, as not only does the gaming experience and what you do with it affect you, but others as well.