A landmark legal case shines a rare spotlight on the workings of the poker machine industry that takes $11bn from Australians every year
Of the items you might expect to see in the workplace of a professor of public health, a poker machine is probably not one. The Dolphin Treasure pokie sits on a bench in Charles Livingstone’s office at Monash University in Melbourne, too heavy for even two people to move and emblazoned with gaudy dolphins swimming merrily over a treasure chest. Despite its location in the furthermost corner of the room, it’s impossible to miss.
“From my observations of gaming floors I notice a lot of middle-aged and older women playing it, patting the dolphins and their little fins,” says Livingstone, who has dedicated his career to studying the harms of pokie addiction.
If you’re living a comfortable life, it’s hard to imagine the circumstances that would lead to a poker addiction