“They are designed to impact on the most vulnerable people, they’re engineered specifically to get inside people’s brains when they’re going through a tough period,” the alliance’s Geoff Lake said.
How does a machine create an addiction? It’s all to do with your brain. Users of poker machines are training their brain to respond to the bright lights and sounds that are displayed when they win.
Australians have a bit of a problem with poker machines. It’s estimated that more than half of the $20 billion injected into gambling each year stems from people punching buttons on poker machines.
Another issue with pokie punters is that their addictions can develop so extensively that they turn to other ‘drugs’ to combat it.
“There is irrefutable evidence that poker machine addiction leads to significant health and social problems, from mental health and relationship breakdowns to family violence,” Deakin University associate professor Samantha Thomas says.
The court action will coincide with a national advertising campaign, which likens poker machines to both heroin and cocaine, to generate community support.