Hungry Beast: May 25

Tonight’s episode of Hungry Beast explores the ways that we “play”, as individuals and as a society. Here are two of the stories:

Earlier this year, the leaders of the “free” world were quick to voice support for pro-democracy protesters in Egypt and Libya, decrying the actions of their dictator rulers. But hang on a minute … we weren’t always so vocal about the denial of democracy in those countries. Australian governments and businesses have been more than happy to do business with these dictatorial regimes, actively pursuing trade and investment deals. In this story, Hungry Beast’s Scott Mitchell looks at some of the other badass dictators Australia is happy to keep playing ball with.

This week’s Beast File turns its graphic gaze towards poker machines, which now account for 55 cents out of every gambling dollar, up from 29 cents only a quarter of a century ago. Here’s just a few of the other numbers… Australians spent $19 billion last year on gambling – $12 billion of that funnelled through pokies. This country is home to 21% of the world’s pokies. There are 180,000 in NSW alone. Per capita, Australia has five times as many pokies as the USA.

Plus regular Hungry Beast segments: Vox Pops, Follow The Money and Stuff Said.

Hungry Beast is presented by Monique Schafter, Dan Ilic, Kirsten Drysdale and Nick Hayden.

It airs at 9.30pm tonight on ABC1.

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