Can YouTube Videos of Pokie Wins Lead to Gambling Addiction?

Australian gambling laws - GamingZion

Uploading a video of a jackpot win on YouTube can lead to gambling addiction according to some opinions.

Grabbing a huge lottery windfall, or having a streak at a casino, or beating a thousand of contesters at a poker table is certainly nice. There’s no shame in showing that off to your friends or the whole public. But is it the same with winnings at online casinos in Australia.

According to some people, sharing videos of large jackpot winnings is not only wrong, but “culturally devastating and utterly deceitful” as World Vision (a humanitarian organization) CEO has put it. The trend of putting jackpot win videos on YouTube is growing and is already being referred to as “Pokie porn”.

It’s understandable, that watching those videos may make some gamers play and spend more money at establishments under Australian gambling laws. However, why huge lottery check photos and a ton of cash on the poker table is ok, but this is not? We’re living in a free world after all.

Opinion on the matter

Reverend Tim Costello is the CEO of World Vision Australia and at the same time chair of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce. He was the one to share his disgust with the jackpot winning videos.

Videos of jackpot wins lead to addiction?

• There are arguments of pokie videos causing gambling addiction

• YouTube is full of winning videos at casinos under Australian gambling laws

• Some say underage gambling can also be caused by these videos

Australian gambling news quote him: “It’s a free world, people can upload what they want, but someone needs to tell them they are entrapping and ruining somebody who sees it and says “that could be me”…your joy at winning can only be at the cost and sorrow of somebody who loses.”

Some of the videos may take the issue one step to far allowing children of any age to view them freely. Others feature arrogant high-rollers boasting about spinning the reels with hundreds of dollars a pop.

Reverend Costello went on to add: “This is really what’s got the public upset, parents are saying who asked them about their kids being handed over to gambling. It’s everywhere. Kids have got smartphones at school where they can watch these videos.”

The outrageous videos

There are plenty of jackpot and huge win story videos out there, some of them are actually appealing. One of such stories depicts how someone won over $10,000 on a $180 spin. This particular video has had over 100,000 views. In the background, the player can be heard, making fun of small-time players and how he loves to gamble in high-roller sections of casinos.

Later on he complains about winning only $3,000 with a $63 spin, commenting the video: “I was not over the moon with it and I am in Australia and you can win much more than $10,000 on a poker machine in in the high roller areas where the max bet is actually $450 a hit.”

One of the most popular slots to feature in such videos is “Big Red” – featuring an Australian theme and described by maker Aristocrat as one of the most successful machines on the market. There are close to 5,000 videos of this particular game on YouTube, with some reaching up to 200,000 views.

Expert opinion

According to Bill Campos, a psychologist at a Sydney clinic, the videos with jackpot wins can ultimately lead to gambling addiction problems, especially when online gambling facilities are so easily accessible. He says: “The problem is you’re just seeing the sizzle, the five minute clip of somebody being elated. It perpetuates that feeling of “where is the next roll of the dice? where is the next pull of the pokie?”

He was also concerned about the possibilities for youngsters getting hooked up on gambling this way. Campos said: “With YouTube there’s no real way of stopping kids watching anything… a kid of 12 or 13 could see this and say “someone’s winning, great”… it could have implications down the track.”

The psychologist emphasizes that online casinos pose extra danger, as they are always accessible and have no ‘social queues’ for gamblers to stop playing. He goes on to say: “There is nobody there to say enough is enough, you’re just in a room by yourself. In a casino or pub there are people packing up, drinks are finishing… there is none of that at home.’

YouTube’s monetization

It’s no secret that YouTube members, whose channels are popular can get money for their videos. The Service shares a small percentage of their advertising revenue with them. The more popular a particular video is the more money they get.

Interestingly enough, it’s not clear from YouTube’s terms and conditions, whether these videos can be monetized. The policies read: “Videos showing software user interface may be monetized only if you have a contract with the publisher or you have paid a licensing fee.”

One of YouTube members with a channel that has been viewed over 1 million times comments about pokie videos: “Watching pokie wins on YouTube is cheap entertainment. Plus only the big wins are uploaded for the viewers. It’s good to see someone win big for a change.”

The debate on the jackpot win videos continues. In our opinion there’s nothing wrong with sharing your joy, but everything has to be done in moderation and in a tasteful manner.

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