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Researchers in Victoria say they have found a “strong and robust” evidence of a link between spending on pokies and the incidence of “income-generating” crimes such as theft, robbery, fraud and handling stolen goods.
The findings, which have been quietly posted on the Department of Justice website, add weight to long-held assumptions about the incidence of problem gamblers turning to crime to feed their habits.
…They concluded that only drug offences had a stronger link to crime than poker machines.
The report by University of South Australia researchers, found evidence of a ”positive and significant link between gaming expenditure and crime” in Victoria across three different years - 1996, 2001 and 2006.
County Court Judge Roland Williams -
questioned at the time ”how a so-called civilised society can allow and offer the mindless operation of poker machines to witless members of the public under the euphemism of gaming and entertainment is no doubt a question for the sociologists of this world”.