OPINION: No positives from pokies, it's time for them to go
PROFESSOR Matthew Rockloff can't speculate yet on whether or not the Cashless Debit Card will change Bundaberg's shameful gambling statistics.
Year after year, locals are pouring money into these machines only to lose it.
I feel the issue with data is that so much of it lies in qualitative, rather than quantitative data.
We can see a cash value attached to our region's pokies addiction, but playing the pokies is certainly not limited to those on unemployment benefits.
Should pokies be banned in Queensland?
This poll ended on 10 January 2019.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
One would have to anticipate some drop in pokies use with the introduction of the Cashless Debit Card, but just how big a drop would certainly depend on how much of the millions is coming from those on welfare, as opposed to those who are employed or on payments untouched by the card, such as the aged pension.
The $9.2 million that got poured down the pokies drain could have done so much more for the community.
I genuinely wonder if poker machines have a place in Queensland at all.
It would take a gutsy move to ban them altogether, but they're one of those things that don't really give us any positives.
Yes, there are gambling funds that help community groups, but I am sure we could look to how pokie-less states cope without that.
It would be a long-term vision but one we could truly benefit from.
Where there's a will there's a way and it's time to stop.