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26 March 2010

Poker Playing Students Suspended From School Down Under, by Greg Tingle - 26th March 2010

An Aussie clan of school students has been suspended for "gambling" during class hours in a development that many parents, students and members of the press have labelled a massive over-reaction for playing cards, on school grounds no less.

Seven (unlucky) students, from Western Cape College’s Aurukun campus, were nabbed while betting cash on the card game and were punished on Wednesday. It is not known who won the game or who was leading at the time of the bust, nor the pot at stake.

Education leaders have been especially critical of the sanction, saying such a punishment should only be used out for bullying and violent offences.

Media Man thinks it may be a different case if the students had wagged school, hit the "local" (pub - hotel) and were playing the pokies! Let us not forget that playing cards also requires skill and usage of the brain.

The move could have far reaching consequences for the parents who receive welfare payments under the Cape York Welfare Reform program.

Under the CYWR program, if a student is absent from school three times in a term without a reasonable excuse payments can be docked.

It is unknown how long the students will be banned from school.

Opposition education spokesman Bruce Flegg said the punishment didn’t fit the crime and believed the focus should have been on "rehabilitating" the card loving students.

"I would prefer to see such a punishment used for bullying and violence," he said.
"I wonder how letting kids miss out on school is a good thing. It’s a victimless crime, I would’ve thought some sort of guidance would’ve be an appropriate thing."

Child psychologist Frances Quirk said while the school needed to prove "gambling" was not acceptable, she questioned the merit in suspending them.

"Schools handing out suspensions on its own is not likely to be a deterrent," she said.

"I’d prefer to see intervention and discussion with the children, asking them if they know gambling is risky and if they’re doing other risky things. There’s better outcomes for children if you sit them down and look at how you can change the activities they’re engaging in."

An Education Queensland spokesman confirmed the students had been suspended.

"Seven students have been suspended from the Western Cape College’s Aurukun campus," he said.

Media Man says the harsh punishment has resulted in this matter becoming a local, national and now, international news story.

Readers minds might flick back to Betfair babe, Annette Obrestad, who goes under the nickname, "Annette_15". Betfair was warned by the UK advertising authority (Advertising Standards Authority) that such campaigns, tags and tactics et al going in the public domain may potentially encourage underage gambling, poker engagement and the like.

Poker is almost universally recognised as primarily a game of skill, as ruled in court rooms around the world. In fact recently as reported in Gambling911, Lithuania ruled that poker is in fact a sport.

Media Man is currently investigating if TNA pro wrestler Kevin "Big Sexy" Nash, formally known as "Vinnie Vegas", is or was a formidable poker player. Many celebrities present themselves as very poker and casino savvy, but few actually are.

Poker and gambling news remains red hot in the Asia Pacific - Australian region, as two days ago revelations surfaced in The Australian newspaper that cricket great Shane Warne is fronting an "illegal" (in Australia) poker brand (888) and that an Australian government "probe" was on the way. Some legal aspects of poker, gaming and igaming were also covered this past Wednesday at iGaming Business Down Under conducted at Sydney's Star City Casino. Media Man filmed some of the event and had more than one legal eagle in attendance.

Casino News Media and Media Man Online Poker Room of the Month: PartyPoker, WPTPoker and PokerStars (a 3 way tie!) PKR Poker, the 3D poker room was runner up.

Readers, ladies and gentlemen, young (not too young) and old, thank you for your loyalty and patronage. We, Media Man (and Google News) appreciate it, and that's no bluff. Keep it legal, and keep it fun. As rock icon Alice Cooper screams, Schools Out!

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They also run a poker news website portal Poker News Media.

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