G'day Aussies and fans of Australian casino and gambling news. Folks, many of you are not going to like this news, so we're just warning you in advance. Soon if your a pokie player in Australia you might expect to be fingerprinted and tracked by 'Big Brother', you know, that Brother we've been telling you had a few years now, but we're never quite sure whether he existed or not. Well, he does, and BB wants to know lots more about you. Yep, he's got you on his mind, not just Australia's Most Wanted and the Wikileaks crew. Media Man and Gambling911 take on 'Big Brother' with this special investigative report...
How's your fingers looking? Why, Australia's 'Big Brother' is pretty keen to fingerprint you, especially if you don't mind a flutter in Australian pubs, pokie palaces, land based casinos and the like. Yep, you may be soon guilty, before being proven innocent. Don't laugh, its just about here now, but no folks chose not to listen to us, calling us conspiracy theorists, just like the Huffington Post did to our friend Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, former mayor of Minnesota and host of Conspiracy Theory as seen on Tru TV.
If you find gambling fun, as you're supposed to, some of the fun may soon be taken away, with the Australian government keen to fingerprint you. Yeah, photos and existing ID are not enough for them. Maybe its time we had a closer look into their private lives too. You know, like the Aussie MP's who get busted visiting massage parlors and brothers on work time, the ones who surf porn at work, and the lazy fat cat politicians who obviously don't serve the people. Time to really stick the probe to them, and perhaps cull a few more of those piss poor political types. How about those 'thought police' who want to tell you what to do, where to go, what to read, watch, how much to spend on what, and so it goes on. Media journalists are calling for citizens to fight back against Australia's 'Big Brother', which 'Our Julian' at Wikileaks knows quite a bit about, having received death threats and who also being treated in quite the guilty before innocent fashion.
Remember that word "mandatory"? Digital fingerprinting of punters could soon be on the cards, in a move tipped to drive away punters from land based premises, and onto the world wide web, where brands such as PartyGaming, Betfair, Centrebet, Microgaming, PKR and Playtech are keenly waiting for them.
The government says it will bring in a "full pre-commitment scheme" basically forcing pokies players to set enforceable limits on their play. Pensioners and those on Centrelink, Australia's welfare program and the like are also tipped to be tracked, and wins are set to penalise pensioners against their allowance.
Pub talks says to be on the lookout for USB memory sticks that matches up to a players' fingerprints. Don't worry, there's no chip in your brain, not yet anyway!
Pokie hating senator Nick Xenophon defended the USB key as "an effective pre-commitment system". Yeah, handcuffs, tasers and jails are usually pretty effective also, but can sometimes make situations worse, with crime going underground, hidden from the public eye.
The futuristic "biometric key", akin to something you think you might find in sci-fi type movies like 1984, They Life, Clockwork Orange and The Net. The "ultimate solution"is seriously being considered. It's a form smartcard, but the USB key has a fingerprint reader on it also. It's for you're own good you know. That's what governments tell it's people when they try to force things onto them.
If the system does in fact go mandatory (compulsory) punters will have to get key from an outlet such as Australia Post, or even Centrelink! Punters will need to become registered, like getting branded ala cattle and sheep, and have their fingerprint scanned and matched up.
To start playing the pokie of your choice at a land based venue the key will be put in a slot, and if you reach your limited, it's all over. That fat lady would have sung, and you'll have to try lady luck another day.
Gamblers might be able to change the spending limit on their key after a cooling-off period: anything from a day to a month, to prevent spur-of-the-moment gambling decisions.
Independent federal MP Andrew Wilkie has advised that he will withdraw support for the Gillard government if it fails to honour a deal to introduce such technology by 2014. Some other MP's and news media commentators have called it "blackmail" and many Australian pubs, clubs and casinos are calling Wilkie fanatical, bias, agenda driven, and a lot worse - 4 letter words! Shock, horror, but folks are angry.
When you look at how such systems have worked, or tried to work overseas, some interesting findings are uncovered.
In Canada, about 30% of gamblers, were sharing cards to avoid pre-set spending limits. Now let's see what the Aussie can so... just kidding, sort of.
The Australian Productivity Commission estimated back in June that the social cost of problem gambling was $4.7 billion and recommended that a full pre-commitment system be introduced.
It's man VS machine. Will you beat The Terminator, be The Terminator, or be Terminated?
Readers, before you cry "media beat-up" et al, consider these wise words from some of histories smart cookies...
"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." - Elbert Hubbard
"Infowars, because there is a war on for your mind." - Alex Jones
"All of us should have free choice when it comes to patriotic displays... a government wisely acting within its bounds will earn loyalty and respect from its citizens. A government dare not demand the same." - Jesse Ventura
Last month was a big month for casino awards. Let's have a look...
PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)
Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Pamela Anderson.
Media Man Profiles
Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Do you love or hate 'Big Brother' and why? Tell us in the forum.
If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.
*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 cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis. They also publish Australian Sports Entertainment http://www.australiansportsentertainment.com
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