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One Last Spin by Drew Rooke

Almost 200,000 poker machines sing and flash in pubs, clubs, and casinos in every corner of the country. They’re highly complex devices, their components designed by mathematicians, musicians, animators, and ergonomic experts. They’re also widely considered the most harmful form of gambling, the cause of the majority of gambling addictions. So how did Australia evolve into a pokie nation?

With startlingly candid interviews from gambling addicts, politicians, manufacturers, neuroscientists, counsellors, anti-gambling campaigners, and gambling advocates, One Last Spin explores how the machines work to hook people in, and the vicious fight being waged to evict them from the country’s social life. It is a confronting tale about the human cost of addiction, of governments pandering to corporate interests, and of the insidious power of the industry’s PR spin.

 

Drew Rooke has provided us with further proof — if ever it were needed — of the calamity that is the poker machine industry. DAVID LESER

 

We've had some mighty debates about pokies in our Central Victorian region: we're keen to hear from Drew Rooke, whose writing combines the necessary rigour of research with curiosity and compassion. Investigative journalism alive and well.