Bethlehem House resident Simon Rolle and former resident Robert Kreschl, have been active campaigners in the campaign for restriction of Poker machines in Tasmania.

Both men have had first-hand experience of the misery and devastation caused by addiction to poker machines and resulting homelessness.

Sadly, our State is now set for another 40 years of such problems and more, as internet gambling also is setting out its nets to catch hopeful gamblers. Robert and Simon both told their stories with dignity, to news media teams keen to give air to the hot political topic in the recent election.

Simon and Buddy The Cat

Simon, who lost his job and his family home had to remain for 2 years 6 months at Bethlehem House until he managed to reduce his debts: that left him with very little spare cash but helped him to stay away from temptation. Simon’s story has a  happy ending as he managed to save enough to buy a small car and has recently moved out to live in his own unit.

Robert made a successful transition from Bethlehem House 5 years ago but now supports other residents every Friday by leading a clay sculpting workshop  in-house and supports others by volunteering with St Vincent de Paul Society, preparing the food for Louie’s Van and being an advocate for gambling reform. Robert will no doubt continue his active role in educating young people about the dangers of gambling.