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Australia gambles on move to tackle slot machine addicts

Published on Feb 22, 2013 11:41 AM
 
Mr Peter Bell, 70, a retiree who likes playing the machines, speaks to Agence France-Presse about gambling as he sits amongst electronic poker machines at the Randwick Labour Club in Sydney on Dec 21, 2012. Australia gambles on move to tackle slot machine addicts. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - It's just after morning opening at Sydney's Randwick Labor Club and already a few regulars are at the slot machines, or "pokies" as they are better known, for a quiet flutter.

Electronic poker machines are the most popular form of betting in Australia, but concerns about problem gamblers have prompted the government to introduce reforms to help keep their spending under control.

"The big picture is we're becoming a nanny state," said Peter Bell, a retiree who likes playing the machines, just like he enjoys to bet on horse races.

He insists he is not a problem gambler.

 
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