Young Veterans Are Calling For RSLs To Get Rid Of Pokies

Pokies are a bit of a staple in pubs and clubs around Australia and have been for some time.

It's also no secret that Aussies shell out a hell of a lot of money on these machines (approximately $24 billion dollars in 2015-16 to be exact).

As a result, there are calls for RSLs to get rid of pokies to ensure people don't fall into a gambling black hole.

Returned serviceman Jono Tubby was discharged from the Navy just before his 22nd birthday and when he came back to normal life he found himself victim to addiction.

Jono Tubby. Credit: ABC/7:30 Report
Jono Tubby. Credit: ABC/7:30 Report

"I just ended up in pubs, clubs, spending from 11 in the morning, drinking beers and playing poker machines," he told ABC's 7.30.

"The whole dynamic of the RSL needs drastic change. For service personnel, ex-service personnel to be in an environment that is supposed to cater for them and their families, it runs through making profit off poker machines."

"It's almost like kicking a person while they're down."

He's not alone in his call for less poker machines; former Army officer David Petersen is leading the charge in Victoria. He agrees that RSLs shouldn't be in the business of running poker machines.

Mr Petersen has told The Age: "The problem with the big gaming clubs is that they're focused on drawing in pokie players from the wider community, rather than on looking after veterans.

"Pokies, cheap parmas and pots for the general punter. That's what these clubs are about. Younger vets look at these clubs and see nothing there for them."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Figures from the Victorian newspaper says out of the 250 RSL sub-branches in the state, more than a fifth have poker machines inside.

Those machines made a collective $300 million in 2017, leading many to question how much of that money goes back into the clubs and for veterans affairs.

A group against pokie machines in RSLs has actually revealed that around $1 million gets pumped back into veteran welfare, which is virtually nothing when it's watered down to each individual club.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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