For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 1 Dec 2013.
Amid the bad news stories on poker machines, the failed political promises, and the brazen attitude of the gambling industry seeking to extract more and more money from those who can least afford to lose it, there’s a good news story out of inner city Sydney.
As Esther Han reports, a new breed of young publicans is saying gambling has no place in their spruced-up watering holes. In the past four years, 31-year-old Sydney publican James Wirth has bought and renovated five pubs, retiring 65 pokies.
He dismissed the idea that pub owners rely on pokie revenue, saying “You should be able to survive without pokies.”
Salvation Army recovery services director Gerard Byrne said research showed increased availability of machines had a “disastrous negative effect” on problem gamblers.
He said, “We encourage poker machine gaming providers to begin developing alternative business models so they are not reliant on the gaming dollar.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.