Things seem to improve as people now understand the impact of pokies in their life. In a recent news it was found that young veterans are pushing for pokies reform in RSL clubs in Australia. The Returned and Services League (RSL) and licensed gaming go hand in hand, having the winds of change to blow for good of the people.
A growing population of younger veterans who believe RSL clubs need to dispense with poker machines and lessen their reliance on gaming revenue. Among those is Dave Petersen, a former artilleryman who served in Afghanistan and now acts as president of the Camberwell City RSL. Dave Petersen is 32 years of age, and is the youngest person in history to hold that rank at any RSL sub-branch in Victoria. Petersen leads the younger brigade of war vets who feel too many clubs have strayed from the league’s core values.
According to media reports in Melbourne he said that the problem with the big gaming clubs is that they’re focused on drawing in pokie players from the wider community, rather than on looking after veterans. He added that Pokies, cheap parmas and pots for the general punter. That’s what these clubs are about and Younger vets look at these clubs and see nothing there for them.
What is RSL Australia?
The Returned and Services League, Australia (RSL) is a support organisation for men and women who have served or are serving in the Defence Force. The RSL’s mission is to ensure that programs are in place for the well-being, care, compensation and commemoration of serving and ex-service Defence Force members and their dependents; and promote Government and community awareness of the need for a secure, stable and progressive Australia
RSL Victoria embraced the legalisation of pokies machines in 1990, around the time veterans from the Vietnam war were rising to prominence within the organisation. Nowadays more than 50 of the state’s 250 RSL halls are licensed gaming venues, raking in more than $200 million a year through player losses. Only the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH), owned by Woolworths, runs a larger pokies operation in Victoria.
- Woolies is now under pressure to ditch its gaming assets, while Coles recently offloaded more than 300 machines with the sale of the Spirit Hotels chain.
- Melbourne’s major sporting clubs are also under the spotlight, with Collingwood, Geelong and several more AFL clubs divesting themselves of their pokies interests in the past year.
- Similar questions are now being asked of the RSL, and Petersen believes the organisation can flourish without the one-armed bandits.
Petersen see no reason to believe that poker machines provide benefits to veterans that cannot be provided in other ways. Petersen is one of several younger members who will stand for leadership positions at the RSL state conference in July.
Playing Pokies at RSL
It is not only playing the pokies at Australian RSL clubs but also offers a nice place to have a casual meal, a drink with friends, hire a function room, watch some sport on the screens. The clubs based in Australia’s major cities like Melbourne and Sydney are visited by lots of people. Families, men, and women, people old and young go to RSL clubs these days to see live entertainment, have a meal and drinks, or attend social events.
When you go to a licenses RSL club in Australia, you are supporting a community. Most of these clubs work on a membership basis, but you are usually guaranteed entry as a person from the general public, just by just showing your ID proof.