Tuesday, June 12, 2007

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Sopranos : The Movie? Was The Finale Just An Extended Tony Dream?
Don't Put Your Carbon Footprints On The Furniture
When Bird Flu Infections Becomes Invisible
Will These Two Madmen Get Their Apocalyptic War?
Australian Religious Leaders Refuse To Rat On Followers

The Etiquette Of Jihad - Who You Can Bomb And Why

Allow Poker Machines In Retirement Homes?

Nah, Just Move The Elderly Into The Clubs

Australians are gambling less than they were a few years ago. More importantly, elderly Australians are spending less money on poker machines.

The club industry and the government are losing revenue, through decreased patronage and gambling taxes. So now the government and the club industry have conspired to lock the dwindling customer base for society-destroying poker machines into a daily cycle of gambling and loss.


By allowing the construction of elderly care facilities adjacent to massive clubs, and, soon, on land owned by the clubs in which the aged will be encouraged to gamble away their pensions and supernnuation earnings until they day they slide lifelessly off a poker machine stool.

The target audience is not the World War 2 generation already filling aged care facilities. The target audience for this disgustingly cynical exploitation is the millions of baby boomers who will be leaving the work force in the next decade.

I mean, seriously, WTF is going on?

How is the following story in any way an example of genuine care and concern being shown by government for some of the most vulnerable members of our society :

Clubs will develop housing for seniors on their sites under a State Government plan, but gambling experts fear it will create a captive market for poker machines.

Of course it will. That is the entire point.

The Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, has tabled draft legislation that encourages clubs to expand into aged care by streamlining planning laws. Mr Sartor said it was driven by demand for seniors' accommodation but agreed clubs stood to benefit.

Note that it is not the clubs alone that are directly appealling to the state government to make this fetid fantasy a reality. The government "encourages" the clubs to target those seeking aged care facilities by "streamlining planning laws".

"Streamlining" of course means all but tossing the rules and regulations straight out the window and saying "Hell, do what you want. You think we give a shit about these non-workers anymore?"

...many clubs have been hindered by zoning that prohibits retirement villages. Under Mr Sartor's plan, the default zoning would permit aged care facilities...

Clubs NSW said it would be a boon to the industry...

Clubs NSW can't believe it.

They can't believe the government is actually allowing them to do this. Gambling related revenue and taxes for the clubs and the government are going to shoot through the roof in the coming decade, and they all know it. Hell, they openly admit it.

Professor Alex Blaszczynski, co-director of Sydney University's gambling research unit, said: "The question is, what are the safeguards for some of the elderly who may be in the early stages of dementia or lonely or depressed, who are losing control and finding the poker machines more to their satisfaction than eating or entertainment?"

Perhaps the poker machines could spit out meal tickets occasionally? Just one meal ticket a day should be enough. A ticket for boiled potatoes and carrots, and a choice of desicated fish or rissoles, and some strong tea or coffee, so they can gamble away their retirement years without losing focus, or too much weight.

Dee Why RSL, and a number of other NSW clubs, already run "senior units".

The government ignored the plummeting availability of housing for elderly people until it reached a crisis point, and now claims it has no choice but to allow the widespread privatisation of caring for those who cannot care for themselves, or afford to live in their own homes.

The chief executive officer of Dee Why RSL, Grant Easterby, said the the club had 145 people on a waiting list for 93 seniors' units, which would be right next door to the club. He hoped it would increase patronage.

"We believe it will be profitable," he said...

Rob Lynch, an expert in leisure sport and tourism at the University of Technology, Sydney, said that while clubs provide valuable community services, "they also raise a lot of revenue for themselves and for the government through gambling".

In the late 1980s, before poker machines moved out of the clubs and into the pubs, there used to be plenty of jokes about how poker machines would eventually allow the elderly to simply insert their pension cheques straight into the machine, without having to go to the trouble of withdrawing money from banks and changing it into coins.

Letting private corporations take control of the housing and care of elderly people and then allowing them to directly target the vulnerable for gambling exploitation, by presumably providing the only meal service in these retirement and aged care facilities, is that very joke becoming a dire reality.

Perhaps they will also be allowed to 'volunteer' kidneys in exchange for gambling credits?

The State government clearly doesn't care. They just want to get millions of costly old people out of their care and responsibility, and if gambling-orientated corporations want to take on the duties once provided by the state, in exchange for all-but-direct access to their bank accounts, then so be it.

The extra tax income for the government from the rise in poker machine gambling revenue will be all cream.