Last Bets

On average every Australian over 17 loses $1300 a year on gambling — about $22 billion for the whole country each year. As the fight over independent Andrew Wilkie’s pokies legislation hots up, Crikey will examine just how hooked our country is on having a flutter. Last Bets will follow the money, from the punter’s pocket and beyond: state revenue, the future of gambling online, its grip on sport, the burgeoning casino tourism industry, the role of pokies venues in local communities and more.

Last Bets: states smash sports betting but no cold turkey on pokies
It’s no wonder premiers would prefer to gag Tony Greig and Richie Benaud than do anything that might impact their AAA-credit ratings, writes Andrew Crook.

Last Bets: a gambling palace through the dealer’s eyes
Boozed-up punters are regular fixtures on the gaming room floor despite laws banning gambling while drunk. But dealers say training is inadequate, writes student journalist Esther Ooi.

Last Bets: which brand of poker machine are you?
Poker machine themes play an important part in conditioning players to gamble and there are millions of dollars being invested by the big companies every year to find the next big thing. So which brand of machine suits you? asks Tom Cowie.

Last Bets: will changing the law fix the fixes?
So Sports Minister Mark Arbib thinks nationwide 10-year jail terms for anybody involved in match fixing will solve what the Sydney Morning Herald described this morning as “the biggest threat to sport since doping”? Good luck, writes Richard Farmer.

Last Bets: Regulating gambling’s grip on sport
Having a bet on the baseball might be illegal in every American state bar Nevada, but every morning on the sports pages are the odds. It’s a reminder to those who would like to outlaw betting on Australian sports.

Last Bets: The campaign to lure more tourists to our tables
Forget Oprah — she was so 2010 — the big buzz word in tourism is now gamblers. The bigger the better. And the big high rollers are in Asia. James Packer and other Australia casino operators want a piece.

Last Bets: Wilkie slams internal QHA pokies “talking points”
Queensland publicans are being urged to aggressively counter Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie’s poker machine reforms through a series of media “talking points” circulated by industry lobbyist the Queensland Hotels Association..

Last Bets: QHA’s pokies reforms are ‘tobacco industry tactics’
There are many tactics that the gambling industry resorts to in defence of its profits including misleading the public through misinformation campaigns, writes Angela Rintoul, Claire Tobin, Darshini Ayton and Charles Livingstone, of Monash University’s Department of Health Social Science.

Last Bets: Gambling with our money
A fascinating, and depressing, graph popped up in The Economist this week …