IT’S 9.48am when I enter, feeling slightly ashamed. I’ve warned my friends, in case they happen to be passing by and see me slinking in to the pokies. And worry for me.
They needn’t. I have many unfortunate addictions but this isn’t one of them.
I sign in to the club as a visitor, which is done by putting my licence in a card reader and receiving a three-day pass. It’s only later that I read the pass and see that I’ve certified that I live a minimum of 10kms from the venue. (I don’t.)
The gaming room is tucked away down a passage, far from prying eyes. This is actually a requirement for pokie venues. And staff are not allowed to disclose the identity of the clients. Make no mistake: there is embarrassment about entering a pokies venue. I hope I don’t meet anyone I know.