Gambling machines are extremely popular in Australia, and there are concerns about the level of gambling addiction. Opinion polls show that many Australians would like to see greater regulation of gambling.
Credit Andrew Taylor / AP
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said last year that poker machine players should set a daily limit on how much they were prepared to lose.
It's a weekday night at the Welcome Stranger pub in downtown Melbourne. Tom Cummings, who used to be a regular here, shows me around the gaming room.
"This machine here, which is called Shaman's Magic, has four different jackpots that you can win. If you'd like to give it a whirl, you can see how you go," says Cummings.
The machines here take Australian $50 bills (Australian dollars are currently worth almost exactly the same as U.S. dollars). You can lose $1,200 in an hour. And a win is not always what it appears to be.
California is facing a budget shortfall of $15.7 billion. Today, Gov. Jerry Brown released a budget that closes that budget with a combination of tax hikes and deep cuts to health and welfare spending.
Amid allegations of corruption and misconduct in college football programs, critics have questioned whether the schools are exploiting student-athletes in an attempt to make millions of dollars. And alarms have been raised about the risks of repeated head injuries.
But football supporters say the sport is unifying, it teaches life lessons to players and it offers chances to young men that they may not get elsewhere.
Beck has been an influential creative force for two decades, popular for his sharp, intelligent and often humorous lyrics. Slickly genre-hopping from punk to folk, alternative and electro, he's put out albums both acoustic and electric, but always innovative. Today's installment of World Cafe revisits three of his interviews from the past decade or so.
When Californians go to the polls in November, they will very likely have the chance to make California the first state in the nation to require labeling of genetically engineered food. That's according to California Right to Know, which filed a petition to force a statewide vote.
And the group is pretty confident it will succeed. "Polls show that nine out of ten California voters agree that they want labeling," Stacy Malkan, spokeswoman for the group, tells The Salt.