The Poker-machine State in Australia: A Consideration of Ethical and Policy Issues
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The ‘poker-machine state’ is a description of a state of affairs that exists in Victoria, Australia. We can describe this state in part by calculating one or another index to estimate the harmful impact of poker machines (high-intensity electronic gaming machines or EGMs). The nature of the poker-machine business means that this impact must occur. Full description, however, requires us to describe four additional aspects of the poker-machine state. First, heavy users of poker machines necessarily lose control. Second, the poker-machine state necessarily causes and constitutes harm. Third, our governments perpetrate the harm. Fourth, the agents of harm, business corporations, profit from the harm. The various aspects of this description provide evidence for the conclusion that the poker-machine state is unethical.
KeywordsGambling Ethics Social policy Poker machines EGMs
My thanks to the editor and an anonymous reviewer for critical comments that, I hope, have strengthened this article. Of course, they bear no responsibility for its content.
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