The pokies were once called one-armed bandits and now one-finger bandits - they prey on the weak, the poor, the lonely, the disengaged and the elderly.
The only people I've known who have regularly played the pokies are two mates who lost everything. Pokie addiction is notoriously difficult to treat.
Independent Federal MP Andrew Wilkie is wisely following the 2010 Productivity Commission report, which tells us pokies are the most dangerous form of gambling.
He sensibly wants mandatory pre-commitment. If you want to gamble small amounts, fine. If you want to go higher, you need to indicate what you can afford. It will stop a lot of gambling on the pokies. Good.
Cue outrage from the clubs and pubs. They cry poor mouth and financial ruin and then merrily spend $20 million on an advertising campaign that implies trying to stop problem gambling is un-Australian.