Friday, May 20, 2011

A Question of Ethics

I have attended my first meeting of the local writers group and find it incredible - not only is there a great range of people, there is also the opportunitiy to have my work critiqued.

And now I have a problem. The group meets at the local club. And the club has pokies.

I am from a state that doesn't have the ubiquitous poker machines - well they are in the casino but that is it. Over here they are in every pub and club. The money from these allegedly goes back into the community - and about5% of it actually does. The rest of it goes into promotional activities for the venue (for example cheap eats) or just into the general revenue. Most venues scream that they woldn't remain viable without these gambling mosters that flash and scream at the patrons, urging them to gamble more and more.

Now I accept that not all gamblers are problem gamblers, and there is a vast range of alternative places for one to gamble if the machines weren't there but I made a decision I wouldn't become a member of any venue that had pokies.

So now what to do. I have to join the club to attend the writers group. Do I join and compromise myself, or do I keep my principles and miss out on developing my craft in this way? I have discounted the option of discussing it with the group - when you question pokies over here, people look at you as if you had just sprouted a new head. And the two people I have mentioned it to in passing point out that I am only there to use the meeting space, and I am under no pressure or obigation to gamble so it is no big deal.

What to do, what to do ....

Image: "Gambling Gummy Bears" by radioPooh

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