John McDonald's argument against pokies expansion (Letters, August 14) deserves Ballarat Council's urgent adoption of its request.
There is yet another reason to oppose pokie expansion.
Pokies are run by computers. The program in the pokie computer can easily be written to optimise the profits for the owners and their allies, that is, to maximise the losses of the players.
For example, researchers have shown that near misses are at least as addictive for players as hits. How can we be sure that pokie programs aren't being used to foster addiction by boosting near misses?
And could we even, in all realism, expect our governments to require that pokie programs deliver near miss rates well below the random percentage to reduce the incidence of problem gambling? If only our council would do so.