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Problem gamblers engage in “magical thinking” and chase their losses, even though poker machines are set to benefit the house. Flickr/Michael Dorausch

Gambling with time: how making poker machines fair would reduce the harms of gambling

What if the worst thing a problem poker machine gambler could lose was time, instead of their mortgage? Welcome to the concept of actuarially fair gambling.
The Kirner government passed legislation in 1991 to enable a duopoly to establish poker machine venues in local hotels and clubs in Victoria. AAP/Dan Peled

Pokies in Victoria: Joan Kirner’s difficult legacy

Joan Kirner was persuaded by an eager pro-gambling lobby that the financial benefits would save Victoria – and her government. But they certainly didn’t save her government.
Coal seam gas has proved a hot topic ahead of the NSW election, not only on the campaign trail but also on social media, where a ‘social mood reader’ can reveal the depth of community feeling. NewZulu/Tony Markham/AAP

Finding new ways to track voters' moods, beyond polls and punters

Beyond polls and betting markets, how else can we gauge how people feel ahead of future elections? Social media is a goldmine, and one of the newer ways to tap into it is with a "social mood reader".
Secret footage revealed that Australian greyhound trainers are still using the banned practice of live baiting. Animals Australia

Greyhound racing in disgrace as riches push trainers to barbarity

Australia’s greyhound industry is reeling from the ABC’s Four Corners expose, featuring graphic footage of racing dogs tearing other mammals apart in the illegal training practice of live baiting. The…
China’s moves against the global gambling industry needs to understood against historical and domestic concerns. AAP/ EPA/YM EPA

What lies behind China’s clampdown on foreign casinos

China’s recent clampdown on foreign casinos has been portrayed as an extension of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive, but it is also more than that. The motives behind Xi’s declaration of war against the…
Damien Oliver (left) rides Fiorente to victory in Race 7 the Emirates Melbourne Cup at the 2013 Melbourne Cup. AAP Image/Hamish Blair

Do historical trends in Melbourne Cup champions point to a winner?

If you’re looking for a definitive answer on who will win the Melbourne Cup – the world’s most prestigious two-mile handicap – I’m afraid I’m going to leave you sorely disappointed. What I can offer is…
Study the form guide all you like – on big race days, your money’s probably safer in your pocket. AAP/Joe Castro

How betting works – and why the Melbourne Cup skews the odds

Australia’s iconic sporting event – the Melbourne Cup – will see more than 100,000 punters pack into Flemington Racecourse this Tuesday, while those at work around the country pause to tune in to The Race…

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