October 29, 2004


The Bad Costello is whining about gambling, as usual:

The Reverend Tim Costello says most Australians would be shocked to know that one fifth of the world's poker machines are in Australia.

Actually, they might be more shocked by this:

Reverend Costello is attending the Australian Council of Social Services conference being held at the Alice Springs casino.

Contributor J.F. Beck writes: "What’s shocking is that anyone would be stupid enough to stuff money into one of these things. Really, the revenue from poker machines is a stupidity tax."

Posted by Tim Blair at October 29, 2004 12:31 PM

If it's a choice between taxing people who are stupid enough to permit themselves to be taxed voluntarily, and taxing people who are too busy earning a living and running their business to get engaged in politics to fight off the taxes on their productivity, then I'll take the former, thanks.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky at October 29, 2004 at 12:47 PM

The returns on Poker machines are programmed to provide 51c for every dollar put in. Though it could be worse. Las Vegas machines are regulated for 42.5c per dollar. They are a licence to print money and that is the reason there are so many of them. The idiot Costello is wrong on his figures though, We down in Australia MAKE one fifth of the world's poker machines, but we have less than 1/10th actually in use in the country. Though it is a fairly useless statistic when you think that there are only 20 million of us. We are still a nation of punters.

Posted by: Todd at October 29, 2004 at 12:56 PM

Actually, of all the mechanical/electronic gaming machines, video poker is the best one for a player. Like any of them will have odds in the players favor.
Regsrding the stupidty tax, that would be a tax on all those voting for the lefty promising new entitlements.

Posted by: Mike Daley at October 29, 2004 at 12:58 PM

Poker machines are useful if you want to kill time and whatever portion of your stake you decide to piss away.

Posted by: Neuroto at October 29, 2004 at 01:06 PM

You could finance the entire welfare state by permitting lottery ticket purchases with food stamps.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at October 29, 2004 at 02:25 PM

Gambling is boring.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 29, 2004 at 02:54 PM

Oh, by all means, then let's just take advantage of the stupid people and laugh, shall we? It's one thing for people to be stupid. It's another to use their stupidity for your own profit.

Posted by: adam ford at October 29, 2004 at 05:01 PM

Well, that's how Hollywood makes its money, right? We don't want to be vilifying the movie people...

Posted by: meep at October 29, 2004 at 07:08 PM

let's just take advantage of the stupid people and laugh

Especially when it's "stupid" Kerry Packer dropping ... what was it? ... ten million at once? But as he said, it's his money and he can do with it what he wishes.

Apart from that there's a lot of us who make a profit from other people's stupidity. It's called fixing up mistakes. You know, like when you don't check where the telephone line is before you start digging up the garden and so on and so forth, etc., etc.

Posted by: Janice at October 29, 2004 at 07:12 PM

The Reverend Tim Costello? 'Nuff said. Although every time I see the slimy little creep mouthing his bigotry and prejudice I think what a marvellous Uriah Heep he would make. That is, if the Australian film industry (sic) could ever break free from the 'Neighbours' mentality and produce some decent drama.


Posted by: Boss Hog at October 29, 2004 at 11:16 PM

The USA has had a long history of embarrassing 'First Brothers'. I'd rather have a Tim Costello as the PM's brother, than a Billy Carter or Roger Clinton or Neil Bush. The Rev Tim actually does some good in the world, even if his politics are completely screwed up.

Posted by: Zev Sero at October 30, 2004 at 08:26 AM