* First we had Today's Apathetic Youth making a case that pensioners are whingers who caused some of their own financial problems by allegedly voting for John Howard.
What the media articles failed to understand is found in the following survey report observation:
The analysis undertaken suggests that certain age-related circumstances of older people—such as being without a partner, having a disability that impacts on everyday activities, having a low annual income, and no longer participating in the workforce—are associated with higher overall levels of motivation for playing EGMs and greater reliance on EGMs to meet social, recreational and mental health needs.
Some significant factors associated with clinical depression are contained in that sentence, but all the newspapers could say was ban pokie specials on pension days and Poll: Do older people need pre-set limits on poker machine use? Vote below.
All ran with an unproven possibility:
"Compared with younger segments of the population, older people are more commonly retired and thus have more limited opportunities to replenish savings once they are used," the report said. "It is thus conceivable that long-term regular electronic gaming machine use may gradually whittle away older people's financial security."
One has to wonder whether this media response was a targeted beat up coming from Senator Fielding and the Family First stable.
It reeks of blame and punish the pensioners, instead of wondering why a large sector of Australian society is so socially isolated and inadequately supported that some individuals turn to gambling to make themselves feel better.
It also ignores the fact that a great many pensioners have no assets, savings or investments and couldn't afford to enter a social or gambling venue even if they wanted to.