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By Jon-Michail

The following story appeared recently in The Age. Can you believe the spin in this article – An organisation that assists disadvantaged youths is funded by the gambling profits from the gaming venues that they own. So let’s try to understand this concept; this organisation helps kids because their parents are no longer able, due to gambling addictions, yet this income is obtained from the same destructive gambling dens in which their families were destroyed. What can I say, is the world going mad?

What do you think?

Pokie cash flows to needy kids

By Jason Dowling | The Age

Father Joe Giacobbe (Photo: Cassie Cowling)

A YOUTH foundation for disadvantaged children founded by a Catholic priest is being funded through two big Melbourne poker machine venues where gamblers lost almost $14 million last financial year.

Clocks at Flinders Street Station and The Meeting Place in Elizabeth Street are operated by the Doxa Social Club, which was established to fund the Doxa Youth Foundation.

The foundation, formed in 1972 by Father Joe Giacobbe, receives more than $1 million a year from the Doxa Social Club.

Father Giacobbe is known as ”the punting priest” for his love of horse racing.

Doxa Social Club’s 2010-11 annual report highlights Doxa’s close links to poker machines.

General manager Max Williams wrote: ”Father Joe and myself have attended many functions, seminars, expos and advisory meetings to ensure that Doxa Social Club keeps abreast of the complex rules and regulations shaping up to govern our industry from August next year.” (Victoria’s poker machine industry will undergo a shake-up in two weeks when the Tatts and Tabcorp duopoly ends and venues become owner-operators of machines.)

Mr Williams wrote that the club had been active in ”advocacy and lobbying within the wider club movement” to try to prevent a ban on ATMs in poker machine venues introduced last month and to block the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines that force gamblers to pre-set how much they are prepared to lose.

The report listed new machines at the Clocks venue as one of the year’s highlights.

Doxa Social Club is looking to expand to a third poker machine venue, possibly in Dandenong, which is in Melbourne’s poorest municipality but has the highest losses per poker machine.

Mr Williams told The Age that ”we are looking at a number of alternatives in various suburbs”.

He said all the Doxa Social Club’s profits were given to the Doxa Youth Foundation for distribution to underprivileged children. The foundation offers camps, schools and cadetship programs for disadvantaged children and young people having difficulty at school.

Mark Zirnsak, of the Victorian InterChurch Gambling Taskforce, said it was problematic for a community service agency to be running pokies.

”Our concern is 40 per cent of the money from pokies is coming from problem gamblers and we don’t think it is reasonable for community service agencies to directly feed off that,” he said.

”There is no sign that venues run by Doxa are providing any better protection against problem gambling than anyone else,” he said.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/pokie-cash-flows-to-needy-kids-20120802-23i9z.html#ixzz22ina8pan

© 2012 The Age 3/8/2012