Highway Games Distribute for Arcooda
- -
Join Us

Clubs 'groom' children with arcade games

Clubs 'groom' children with arcade games
Clubs 'groom' children with arcade games
Arcade games that have gambling features and offer real prizes should be reclassified as gaming machines under Australian law and should not be used by children near pokies venues, independent senator Nick Xenophon said. Anti-gambling campaigners and electronic gambling experts said children are being groomed to gamble by clubs that install the new arcade games that mimic poker machines and offer prizes such as digital cameras or televisions.

Senator Xenophon said the federal government needed to act in the absence of state government action. "Legislation needs to change because these machines are a training ground for pokies. It puts kids at risk. While mum and dad are playing pokies inside, the kids are getting trained on redemption [arcade] games just a few metres away. The connection is insidious and it is totally cynical," he said.

An electronic gaming expert at Monash University, Charles Livingstone, said the arcade games served two purposes: to indoctrinate kids to gambling, to make them think this is a normal part of life; and to lure children, and with them their parents, into the pokie venues. Dr Livingstone said Australia had "one of the world's most liberal gambling regulatory regimes", which had led to a significant increase in the number of pubs and gaming venues offering children's activities in recent years.

A University of Adelaide study released last year surveyed more than 2500 teenagers and found pathological gamblers were significantly more likely to play video and arcade games. The Productivity Commission's report on gambling last month confirmed the view that "minors should not ... be exposed to gambling areas within venues". But the commission did not make any recommendations on the issue and regulation is largely a matter for the states.

The arcade games are called "redemption games" because children play for tickets or prizes. They use electronic claws to grasp at a pile of goodies, spin a wheel, or use a button to line up blocks and win. The increasing popularity of computer games and gaming consoles at home has further fuelled their popularity. Founder of PokieAct.org Paul Bendat said all children's games should be banned from pokies venues. "I stand for children not being in pokies venues at all because gambling is an adult form of harmful entertainment," Mr Bendat said.

A spokesman for Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, David Curry, said he did not believe the games trained children to gamble and regulators had not raised the issue of venues providing children's activities. "Quite simply, we operate family venues with a variety of entertainment opportunities for children included within that."

News story from The Age - http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/games/clubs-groom-children-with-arcade-games-20100703-zuzq.html


Copyright © 1999 - 2024, Highwaygames. All Rights Reserved. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the highwaygames.com User Agreement and Privacy Policy.