Australian Senator—and fervent anti-gambling crusader—Nick Xenophon (pictured) is turning his attention to arcade games that feature gambling elements, saying that such entertainment is a “training ground” for children to learn how to gamble.
Xenophon, who previously took on mobile and PC games based on slot machines (or pokies as they are called Down Under), was joined in his latest contention by Charles Livingstone, a Monash University “electronic gaming expert,” who told the Age that such arcade games achieved a pair of 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.”
Calling for action from the federal government, Xenophon stated, “Legislation needs to change because these machines are a training ground for pokies. It puts kids at risk.” He added, “While mum and dad are playing pokies inside, the kids are getting trained on redemption [arcade] games just a few metres away.”
Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group spokesperson David Curry defended the venues, saying, “Quite simply, we operate family venues with a variety of entertainment opportunities for children included within that.”