The collective Australian conscience has been tested today with the publication of confronting photos of hundreds of unemployed, penniless poker machines sleeping rough on city streets.

The COVID-19 lockdown has been devastating for the gaming industry with Australian families already diverting over a billion dollars of essential poker machine support into such discretionary areas as rent, utility bills and the purchase of groceries.

As a consequence, pubs and clubs have been forced to evict poker machines who are not able to support themselves and with nowhere else to go, the unlucky machines are often seen huddled in doorways, sleeping under bridges, or in makeshift encampments on the outskirts of regional towns.

Stinky Pete, known professionally as ‘Where’s the Gold’ said he never expected to end up destitute when he moved to the bright lights of the VIP Lounge from his mildly successful Californian gold mine in 1856.

“Consarn it, podsnappery only goes so far until you’re entirely poked up, don’t ya know? Can’t say I’ve been this dumfungled in seven score and sixteen years” said a miserable Stinky Pete in what sounded a bit like English. “Now I’m entirely shot into the brown. Yessirree, the yee-haws are done and dusted. 0 Credits”.  

Meanwhile, the once-regal Queen of the Nile is treating her current predicament with contempt and has promised to return.

“None may lay claim to my empire without a fight” she vowed, as she picked durries off the ground next to a bus stop and sealed them in a zip-lock bag. “By the Crook and Flail of Osirus will I return to take back my throne. They have pressed my play button and I am ready to start my feature. The VIP Lounge will tremble at the might of my three pyramids”.  

With no firm date on reopening each state’s pubs and clubs properly, only time will tell how long the heartbreaking situation will continue, with gaming industry figures calling on problem gamblers to overdraw their bank accounts if they spot a poker machine in need.

For some machines, the easing of restrictions may not come soon enough, with local Big Red expressing his frustration at not being able to go back to work. “Have a Captain Cook at me, I’m in all sorts of froth and bubble, mate.” said the well-built kangaroo.

“They shut down the rubbity dub and I’m out on me Khyber Pass without an Oxford scholar. No Bugs Bunny at all; can’t even afford a pig’s ear, mate” said Big Red, before he inexplicably attempted to cross the frog and toad without taking a butcher’s hook and was subsequently hit by whatever rhyming slang for ‘truck’ is.


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