6 Jul

Pokies Culture: A Look at the Lighter Side

Getting together with friends and family to play pokies is an enjoyable feature not everyone can take advantage of. In fact, simply playing on one’s own is a luxury most people do not have either due to costs, transportation as well as many other factors. But whether it is on one’s own or with a group of friends, playing pokies is not all bad due to the social aspects it carries.

Getting together in casinos with friends and family is more than just throwing away cash at a machine that may or may not repay your kindness back. Such behavior is also a form of socializing that can strengthen relationships and bring people together. Ideally, people could make closer connections through outdoor activities as well as other clubs and groups that spur some type of other cultural or talent-based functions, but frankly speaking not everyone is able to socialize on such levels and in some cases people are physically limited.

For the so-called anti-social group who is typically regarded as the more introvert and eccentric bunch, meeting in casinos where eye contact is limited and chatter is at large considered superficial helps people connect in a way they are familiar. If such people were interested in discussing politics then they would go to local board and city council meetings, or if they were interested in philosophical or art-based discussions, they would seek out those circles of friends through other means such as forums and public groups. For certain pokies players, however, slot machines in a casino setting are what keep them going and this needs to be respected.

Obviously if the person in a casino is throwing away lots of money while he or she sits in a dark corner along is not a healthy lifestyle and indefinitely implies that the person is facing some sort of mental distress. However, for those who go out on a Saturday night with their friends and throw down some money on pokies doesn’t imply they are lowbrow losers who have nothing better to do.

Most people are engaging in senseless entertainment one way or the other and we all have our “stupid” when it comes to activities meant to make us relax as well as socialize with others. People throw away money at shopping, sports activities and all sorts of shows. Or are they really throwing it away? Yes, if they don’t have the money to begin with and no if you consider the social development that comes with it. People look to all sorts of methods to partake in so that they can alleviate themselves from their boring lives, so why not allow pokies players to do the same?

People who point the finger at gamblers are concerned, albeit the way they express usually comes off hostile. For example, many activists that want to ban gambling such as pokies are most likely concerned of the potential social burdens produced such as increased welfare, poverty and mental disorders. Their angle however comes from a standpoint of anger and lack of understanding as well as overshadows the bigger picture.

Activists should promote alternative lifestyles as well as focus on the benefits of partaking in non-gambling lifestyles. If they cannot, they should focus on the social factor that comes along with gambling and try to calm down a bit. Understanding is key and through setting examples rather than fighting fire with fire can make a difference.

Casinos also offer nice hotels and buffets, so the experience extends beyond sitting on a chair facing a screen. There are also multiple performances including comedy, dancing and singing. There is value in such atmospheres as well that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Meanwhile, pokies and other forms of gambling contributes billions to the Australian and New Zealand economies, which creates jobs and funds parts of government. Gambling is a reflection of being social through both desire and comfort, but is not necessarily are dark and gloomy like some interpret.