Pokie Pop-ups

I was just saying to a group today that other countries are far ahead of the US when it comes to “harm minimization” in gambling. Here’s a case where, many in the industry say, minimization goes too far: regular reminders to gamblers that they are…gambling.

From TVNZ:

The gambling industry is crying foul over a new regulation that will see gaming machines flash warning messages that will interrupt play every half an hour.

The pop-up messages will tell the player how long they’ve been playing, how much they have spent and ask whether they wish to continue.

The aim is to try to prevent problem gambling by interrupting someone on a roll.

Paul East, speaking for the Australasian Gaming Association, told a parliamentary committee the regulation has come out of the blue and they want it revoked.

However, Gambling Watch says the industry only objects because it will cost them revenue and the proposed system is quite reasonable.

Spokeswoman Sue Torkington says industry-commissioned research shows that pokie machines cause players to go into a trance-like state, and pop up messages would help combat that.

The new regulation would come into effect in October for new machines and all others would have to carry the messages by 2009.

Pokies to flash pop-up messages

Usually, browsing the web you get pop-ups that try to induce you to gamble. I guess it is part of the cosmic balance that, somewhere, someone would get pop-ups urging them to stop, or at least snap out of their “trance-like state.”

Come to think of it, why stop at gambling? I can think of a range of behaviors that might be mitigated by incessant pop-ups. Any ideas?

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