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Sydney, Australia CNN When Kate Sommerville visited a pub in Melbourne, Australia, to research a report on the socioeconomic impact of five new slot machines in the area, she never thought she would become an addict herself. Business Markets Tech Luxury. Stars Screen Binge Culture Media. Business Culture Gadgets Future Startups. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out Pokies For Fun For Free happening in the world as it unfolds.

When gambling becomes an addiction Story highlights InAustralians lost more money per person than any other developed nation, one group says Pathological gamblers are at increased risk of stress-related conditions, such as hypertension. Everything about the machine is designed to draw you in. Within months of starting to gamble inSommerville, then a local government worker specializing in community support and health policies in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, was spending her entire salary on slot machines, known as pokies in Australia.

Unable to concentrate, she eventually lost her job, and her seven-year relationship broke down soon after. You neglect diet; you can't sleep," recalled Sommerville.

At her age and with her extensive professional background, that was deeply shocking to her. She admitted, "I felt traumatized but couldn't stop. Kate Sommerville, 69, became addicted to slot machines. After six years of being enslaved to a severe gambling habit, Sommerville sought help and stopped in But Sommerville is adamant that her story "can happen to anyone," particularly in Australia.

Australians are the world's most prolific gamblers, based on per capita spending. Total gambling expenditure Pokies Australia Us Relations Australia increased by 7. Driving this national addiction are the country'selectronic poker machines. With the exception of Western Australia, pokies are allowed not just in casinos but in pubs and social clubs, where they are plentiful.

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Slot machines, or pokies, are a common sight in Australian pubs and social clubs. In Australia, "we have pokie machines on almost every street corner," said Charles Livingstone, a senior lecturer in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Melbourne's Monash University.

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Pokies are "really good at getting people hooked: Each bet provides a dopamine release, similar to a drug like cocaine, in your brain," explains Livingstone. Livingstone estimates that one-third of the people who play pokies once a week will develop a gambling problem. While gambling on sports tends to be male-dominated and seen as a traditionally masculine activity, playing the pokies has more equal distribution across the sexes, said Christopher Hunt, a clinical psychologist at the University of Sydney Gambling Treatment Clinic.

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Depends on whom you ask. Part of the issue is both ease and access. At the horse races, "you have to think about what bet are you going to place. With a pokie, you just mindlessly sit there, pressing a button," added politician Andrew Wilkie, an independent MP who tried unsuccessfully to introduce reform to federal gambling regulation in They're prevalent in the community; they're high-intensity; they're highly addictive.

At the Star casino in Sydney, hundreds of brightly lit slot machines line a room decorated with neon lights and a drab patterned carpet. It might seem like a gambler's paradise, but ambulances are a regular sight here, with emergency services often answering calls for everything from psychiatric behavior to overdoses and attempted suicide. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported in that Sydney's Star City had ambulance attendances a year in the period since ," Livingstone said.

I don't think there is sufficient evidence to make that cause and connection. It may or may not be related to gambling behavior. Women now drink nearly as much alcohol as men, study finds.

The social toll of gambling is also high. Much of it was taken, without her partner's knowledge, from their retirement funds. She now recognizes that it wasn't only money she was losing but her well-being, too.

Laurie Brown, 58, with her partner, John Formby. At the end of the week, I was exhausted. I also have type 1 diabetes, so that run amok. Brown developed depression and anxiety.

Brown wants to see increased intervention from staff at pubs and clubs to prevent problem gamblers like herself from spending too much money, as well as stricter rules around self-exclusion lists: Study finds 1 in 8 Americans struggles with alcohol abuse.

Pre-commitment would allow gamblers to choose a daily limit before they start playing, which is tracked electronically. Once they exceed that limit, they are shut out of the game. Preventing this change, according to Livingstone, is a powerful gambling industry -- and their cozy relations with the government.

States and territories in Australia are responsible for regulating gambling, but they also benefit from taxation: In order to keep the government sweet, the gambling industry donates to political parties and independent MPs, Livingstone said.

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Independent MP Wilkie agreed that there is a conflict of interest. On the other hand, these machines are big sources of taxation revenue," he said.

Still, he insists, this is a "false economy": Paul Toole, minister for racing for the government of New South Wales -- whose remit also covers gaming in the state -- did not respond to CNN's request for comment. Merlene Kairouz, minister for consumer affairs, gaming and liquor regulation for the state of Victoria, also did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment. This year, the Government of Victoria announced a year freeze on the number of poker machines in the state, seen by many anti-gaming advocates, includng Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn, as an important step toward making the gaming industry more responsible for the impact on communities.

Next month, Maurice Blackburn will be taking a landmark lawsuit against casino Crown Melbourne and poker machine manufacturer Aristocrat Technologies to the federal court. The firm claims that pokie machines are deliberately designed to trick players into thinking they are winning. Some argue that poker machines are designed to mislead and deceive users.

The case is not seeking damages but is instead about making sure that poker machines are designed fairly and that players are genuinely informed about their prospects of winning, Kanis said.

Kanis, and her firm, believe that the gambling industry is aware of the harmful effects of problem gambling on vulnerable people yet continues to exploit problem gamblers. The firm explained that the case centers on the Dolphin Treasure machine, which Kanis said "is misleading and deceptive and therefore in breach of consumer laws.

The machine makes the lights and sounds of a win even when a player has a partial return but has actually lost money on a spin, Kanis said.

However, the Gaming Technologies Association, the representative body for Australian gaming machine technology suppliers, says that the strict legal and compliance obligations of the Australian gaming industry keep the machines in check.

Regulators impose comprehensive conditions on every aspect of poker machine design and operation," association Chief Executive Ross Ferrar said in an online post in The association confirmed that this remains its position regarding these machines.

There needs to be Pokie Review Brah Rival systematic change, said former addict Somerville, who recently retired as the founding coordinator of the ReSPIN Gambling Awareness Speakers Bureau, where she dedicated her time Pokies Australia Us Relations raising awareness of gambling problems in Victoria. Sommerville insists the government "has their own addiction":

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Aristocrat Leisure Limited is an ASX listed company and one of the largest manufacturers of gaming solutions and poker machines in the world. Sep 01,  · Chat with us in Facebook With the exception of Western Australia, pokies are allowed not just in casinos but and their cozy relations with the. *The Tourist In Australia POKIES Fruit Machine is part of the The Tourist coinsluckyz.com play Australian online pokies with coinsluckyz.comlia Players Mobile relations. One.

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Pokies are "really good at getting people hooked: RTG casinos allow the option to pick from several different types of casino bonuses depending on the type of games you want to play. Next month, Maurice Blackburn will be taking a landmark lawsuit against casino Crown Melbourne and poker machine manufacturer Aristocrat Technologies to the federal court. Info Return to the homepage by clicking on the site logo. Write a Review Reviews The firm explained that the case centers on the Dolphin Treasure machine, which Kanis said "is misleading and deceptive and therefore in breach of consumer laws. We try to list them for you when necessary, but it is a good idea to check and see if there is any casino bonus codes for USA players available at any casino you choose.