Statement from Bishop Philip Huggins, Chair of the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee

Wise observers of the human condition have long concluded that "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy 6:10).
We read about the impact of the AFL's Victorian clubs and their gaming venues sucking in the lonely and often tragically addicted to play at their 1317 poker machines.
A fool and his or her money may well soon be parted, as wisdom also conveys, but the intentionality of this fund-raising by AFL clubs is really quite cruel.
Many of the machines are in the sprawling new suburbs of our urban growth where loneliness and various stresses, including financial pressures, predispose some to seek happiness and relief in such places.
From this revenue, some clubs and managers will be offering their absurd contracts during this Trade Week for players.
The healthy and important link between the supporter and club is diluted by gambling revenue.
Would the players and coaches really be happy that a part of their contracts have been funded by the misery caused to people by poker-machine addiction?
The AFL is having a year in which it has been forced to pay attention to various unpleasant matters.
This is another such issue.

Media contacts: Bishop Philip Huggins, 9653-4243 (W) or 0418-799-515 (M),
Mark Brolly, Anglican Media Melbourne, 9653-4218 (W) or 0419-329-119 (M).

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