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A Short Festival on Gambling

13 December 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: "'My great-grandfather won his first bet. In the case histories of pathological gamblers you find the same story told time and time again.' So says the narrator in Peter Carey's novel Oscar and Lucinda. Oscar declares himself to be weak in the presence of gambling and that `... it is like opium to me'.

"The pursuit of an easy dollar is summarised rather pertinently by Kenny Rogers in his song The Gambler, ` ...know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em and [most importantly] know when to walk away'. In games of chance, however, the player is continually guessing; betting on hunches as well as impulse. Therein lies the challenging allure of gambling - walking away is no simple two-step.

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