18 Mar. 2008

A Social Evil

Peter Newell, chairman of Clubs NSW, wants you to believe that there is no pokie problem:
Those who speak of the social cost of gambling are quoting the total gambling spend each year in Australia. If we adopt this interpretation the social cost of playing the pokies is $11.28 a week for each adult in Australia. Extending this definition to other items of household expenditure reveals the absurdity of such a measure.

The social cost of takeaway food is $20 a week, and the social cost of having a mobile phone $37. The most popular form of weekend activity is going to the movies or playing video games. The social cost of video games to the nation: $3.8 billion.
But we don't have families breaking down because of takeaway food, or babies left in cars while mum plays video games, or people losing their houses to pay their mobile phone bills.