Experts claim pensioners can’t afford pokies, especially not at Christmas…

This year, Australians have lost $309 million to pokie machines. Now punters have been given a Christmas warning, with special

This year, Australians have lost $309 million to pokie machines. Now punters have been given a Christmas warning, with special mention made to pensioners.

During Christmas gambling increases, with experts like psychologist Dr Leanne Casey saying this time of year is particularly troubling.

Dr Casey made special mention of how gambling can affect people living on the pension. “If the person can afford the loss it is one thing but if it is a pensioner putting their last $20 in a machine, then it is a big problem”, she said.

Pokie losses have skyrocketed by 20 per cent since 2013, and the figures available don’t even take into account some major casino companies.

“A lot of problem gamblers can have anxiety and depression issues and around the Christmas holidays people can be very stressed with family events, or dealing with their own issues”, Dr Casey explained.

“This can make people more at risk of forming problem gambling habits over the holidays or even falling into old patterns”, she added.

Not everyone is worried though. Facebook user Tommy Neilsen ironically wrote, “I think it’s disgusting that people have a choice what to do with their own money”.

Whilst Justin Cobb added gambling is not specific to any one group. “Gambling is a national problem”, he wrote online. “Maybe some (people) just need to wake up and take responsibility for their own actions? You got to know when to fold ’em”. 

Are you planning to have a punt this Christmas? Do you think there’s anything wrong with gambling as a pensioner?

  1. Deidre Green  

    No chance of me falling for the pokies – I don’t have any club memberships. No need for them.

  2. This will not affect me I am not a gambler but I can’t see the harm in anyone going for a weekly or monthly outing and spending $20 in the machines. I do understand some have a problem but I think the majority spend their money wisely

  3. I don’t gamble but people will go to clubs and pubs over Christmas celebrating with family and friends and an occasional flutter if it is in small amounts for entertainment I think is acceptable. BUT only if you have the disposable income to be able to afford it without it impacting on your every day living.

  4. While I’m a member of a club and do go with friends for a meal on occasion, I only play the machines if I have a few dollars I can spare and would never feed more than $30 if that and only if my friends are staying for a while. I think most AGED PENSIONS are wise enough to walk away if they are losing their money, give them a bit more credit.

    • I am not a gambler Trish either and I am the same as you , only go to the club for a meal but I have worked out a cheaper option lmao while my friends have a flutter, I put $5 on the keno, yes I know that is still gambling but my keno bet last for ages lol it takes ages for those balls to drop and most times I at least win my money back

    • I agree with you both, I think most on a pension act responsibly, if anyone is pumping the money through these machines, they need to look at self funded, they have the money to spend

    • I think if people enjoy a flutter it’s their business, however I really don’t think it’s the older community wasting their money. I watched this young women one day win $500.00 and when I said take the money and run she said it wasn’t hers to begin with so she didn’t mind if she paid it back in, it was good entertainment for her. I could never do that, I’d have been out of there as soon as I had collected.

    • When I worked in a casino it was mainly pensioners that played the pokies. Many were playing before my shift and were still there at the end of my shift. They would have lost a lot of money! Pokies are very addictive to a lot of people.

    • How do you know they were on a pension Debbie and not self funded? I am presuming they did not have to show their pension cards

    • Although my friends like to play the machines, they would be lucky if it was once a month like myself however they are all willing to just walk away when they have spent what they can afford, I guess there would be some who get sucked in though waiting for the big win. I hope they know what your chances are of getting a big win, then maybe they wouldn’t bother.

    • A friend of mine recently told me she is addicted. From her pension she pays her rent and utilities and some food then blows the rest on pokies. I guess there are degrees of addiction as at least she pays her bills.

  5. The first Boxing Day I was on my own, i went into the local club for lunch and was amazed at how many women were playing the machines,if you can afford it that’s fine ,and I hope that those who can’t afford it get the message and realise just don’t go there
    I’m sorry for anyone with any type of addiction and know it’s so hard
    Wishing everyone A good 2016,😎

  6. Why do we need ecperts to tell us this? Why are these experts not being paid to go in to clubs and counsel people instead of writing useless articles that do nothing as thise who have a problem won’t read them as they are busy gambling. Also, if pensioners are singled out it is obvious that authorities know they don’t have enough money so why not remedy that?

    • Graeme Condely. Ellie’s point is that the author of the study had the perception that pensioners have little money. This applies to all pensioners not just those who feed the pokies.

  7. Just can’t see the entertainment in giving a machine my hard earned money & sitting on a stool pressing buttons😕

    • Having worked in a casino I saw how the ‘bells & whistles’ and the hope of a win becomes addictive. But the house always wins in the end!

  8. I must say that I have noticed lots of pensioners sitting at the pokies for hours in the clubs. I’m not a gambler but I do occasionally have a go and $20 is my limit but if I get a good return I will take it out. We usually only go to clubs for a meal and often if we win, it pays for the meal.

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