Pokies Money Zine Mortgage

A bit of entertainment, or designed to addict? John McCrone gets an insider's guide to playing the pokies. Robyn is urging me to go faster, her voice a strangled mix of excitement and frustration: Just push the bloody button. We are on her favourite pokie machine, Show Me The Money.

Show me the sucker, more like. It was this machine that brought Robyn Hayward to the brink of losing her house, to the brink, just about, of crime, and to the brink of driving over the edge of the road in the Port Hills in a mist of tears definitely.

I was just going to go and spend a little money, but I'd binged. The mortgage money, everything was gone. I couldn't see for crying.

I was saying I'd done it so many times, I was weak, I couldn't effing beat this thing, I was just useless in society, I may as well hara-kiri myself.

A misadventure in a deep gully would look like an accident, sparing her family some shame. But at the last moment, parked up to gather her nerve, Hayward instead phoned an problem-gambling helpline and was talked back down to earth. Francis Wevers, chief executive of the Charity Gaming Association the spokes-organisation for pubs like the Glenbyre is surprisingly frank about it. Play the pokies and you will lose. No-one should pretend any different. The odds are fixed by law.

According to the Gambling Pokies Money Zine Mortgagefor every dollar you put in, a machine is only allowed to return a maximum of 92 cents on average.

Yet Wevers says pokies are an entertainment, an excuse to dream, a way to pass a few hours, and where is the harm in that? Players are paying to be amused in comfortable surroundings. The divvy is that about a third is hoovered up by the Government in taxes, a third pays for the machines, the rent, the expenses, and a third goes back to fund a broad range of community activities.

Check the accounts of pokie trusts and they highlight their support for your local netball team, rescue helicopter, drug treatment clinic, or whatever. A few zealots and puritans might complain. But at least when we eventually allowed pokies into New Zealand, we created a mechanism to return some of the pokie cash to the pockets from which it came, says Wevers. Pokies are the crack cocaine of gambling they say. They are evil machines designed by psychologists to get their hooks into you, the flashing lights, spinning reels, little bleeps, blurts and spasms of music turning players into zombies, siphoning money out of their wallets until they are financial husks.

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Horse racing, roulette and other forms of gambling can land people in trouble. But 88 per cent of the foundation's clients are seeking help because of pokies.

And yet we allow them. Perhaps because, unlike an alcoholic or drug abuser, we cannot just look at a problem gambler and tell, says Coom. It could be you, me, your neighbour, your child, your accountant. The disappearing money can be hidden for a long time. It is usually not until a person has blown a gaping, smoking hole in their finances, until the banks, bailiffs and police are involved, that the scale of the addiction comes to light.

None of the fiddling about you get with a parking meter. But the array of stake options is a little more baffling.

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I can gamble a few cents or several dollars on each spin, depending on how many lines I play at once, what sort of pay-out multiplier I choose.

That confuses me, too. I think I may have won something judging by the happy noises. Yet was it more than the stake money I just spent?

Little money bags flash and dance. It is all too tedious, so I lock in the maximum bet to get it over with. But for Hayward, it is infuriating that I am even having to pause to think.

This is the benefit of her spending a decade, in stints of eight hours or more, glued to a chair in front of a pokie screen. Robyn Hayward can see if I have won or lost even across 20 Hokie Pokie Youtube Song line combinations as the reels are dropping into place. Proper pokie players keep the foot hard to the floor. That is why the machines come equipped with autoplay buttons.

No need to even press to start. On the pokie next to me is a slight and elderly Maori lady. Bolt upright and neatly dressed. She is certainly up to speed. Nothing is coming out again. However, she looks only mildly perturbed, a tiny bit furrowed around the eyes. It is not a wealthy-looking clientele, it is not a wealthy-looking pub, it is a slow Monday afternoon. But all around, dollars are draining away like blood from Pokies Money Zine Mortgage cut artery.

So how much did you lose over the years, I ask Hayward? However it was easily hundreds of thousands. Enough that in her job at the bank, she found herself starting to eye those tempting wads of customers' cash. Hayward says she was a good girl from a Christian family. She had no hint she might be susceptible. It seems in life, you cannot predict what will bring you down.

Like me, she found the pokies tedious at first. For her and her girl friends, having a night out at the Christchurch Casino, they were merely a break from the gaming tables.

People just had their heads down.

There was nothing social about it. There was no skill to Pokie Machines Making Noise. It did not interest me. Until I played and had my first win.

This is a common tale apparently. It just takes a random payout and suddenly it appears the machines can be beaten. Play moves into a higher gear. The choice becomes whether to tell partners and families about the stupid dollars spent or hoping to claw at least a few of those dollars back. There is also something comforting, pain-numbing, about the fast-flashing lights, the multiple lines of promise every few moments, the erratic jangle of the micro-wins.

There is no great secret to it really. I studied Psychology We used to call it variable-ratio schedule conditioning. A rat in a box would learn to push a bar to get a reward of a sip of Milo. Lots of small rewards spread out in an even yet somewhat unpredictable fashion created the most long-term and obsessive bar pushing. Flash a light or sound a buzzer at the same time and these stimuli become secondary reinforcers enough to keep the button-pushing going on their own.

Hayward points out that pokies are quite unlike other forms of gambling in the way they trap you in the zone, quite carefully designed to create a seamless Pokies Money Zine Mortgage of betting and losing.

Lotto comes but once or twice a week. A single bet can buy you quite a few days of day-dreams. Back the horses, or even play the roulette wheel, and every race, every spin, is a distinct event. You also feel connected to a crowd, an occasion, a social context. But look around this suburban gaming den, a dim sideroom of a pub. There are no clocks, no windows, no telling whether it is night or day. We are all together, but each in the private world of our own machine. And just consider all the secondary reinforcers that the games offer.

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Hayward, of course, cannot allow herself to play anymore. But all the tinkling and jangling just about has her bouncing off the walls. Also, see the way that every spin almost always results in a near miss. Something to get excited about and conceal the fact you just lost. They call that starved reels. The first few reels to come to rest are stacked with winning symbols, the last only the occasional.

Nearly did it that time, so quick, try again, the machine is saying. Those pokie manufacturers really know how to get inside your head, says Hayward. The room jackpot is another spur they introduced. One of the 18 machines in the room will eventually strike lucky a chance to recoup a whole afternoon of losses. That sure keeps you in your seat if you were wavering. The free spin feature is yet another clever hook.

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