Woolworths have already established themselves as the Pokie People and one of the most destructive forces ever to impact this great southern land of ours. In fact we were recently saddened to read that Woolworths and their co-owned ALH Group were actively targeting children and families in the pubs and clubs – so this latest news is actually not surprising at all. Woolworths have well and truly let their feelings be known and I for one would like to be the first to ask them to kindly GO AND FUCK THEMSELVES SLOWLY IN THE ARSE WITH A STOP SIGN (top first)
It’s Fly Buys for Pokie Addicts and Gamblers in General
Anti-poker machine campaigners have slammed supermarket giant Woolworths for introducing a frequent gambling rewards card for poker machines in its string of pokie pubs.
What is it exactly?
The card, designed by poker machine manufacturer Bally Technologies, allows marketing messages to be flashed up on the gambler’s machine as they play, meaning they can order drinks from the machine without interrupting play.
Anti-pokies campaigner Paul Bendat agreed the card is “essentially a Fly Buys for gambling”. “You sign up for a card, you give them a bunch of your personal details and every time you gamble on one of their poker machines, you insert the card,” Mr Bendat said.
“[Voluntary pre-commitment] is the cornerstone of the harm-minimisation policy of the current Victorian Government, ALP, and the past Coalition. And [This card] is entirely counterproductive. There is no morality in it.”
Woolworths’ move is in direct response to government calls for harm minimisation measures to prevent problem gambling. In December, the ALH Group, which is 96 per cent owned by Woolworths, will roll out the Monty’s Reward card in Victoria and Queensland as its “voluntary pre-commitment” measure, after it was piloted in New South Wales. Independent senator Nick Xenophon branded Woolworths’ decision as cynical.
“What was meant to be a harm minimisation measure has been turned by Woolworths into a harm-exacerbation measure by using this card,” he said. “This isn’t so much a loyalty card as an addiction card.”
…an addiction card they can now renew online in four easy steps I might add!
Voluntary Pre-Commitment SCHERMITMANT!
Buried at the end of the card’s brochure is a paragraph on voluntary pre-commitment – which means the gambler has the option to limit their spending – however, the pre-commitment only lasts for 24 hours. (SEE BELOW for copy of Monty's Rewards Ts&Cs)
- Voluntary Pre-Commitment 12.1 For Members utilising Monty's Rewards at Participating Venues other than in Victoria: 12.1.1 Members may utilise Voluntary Pre-Commitment in conjunction with their Monty's Card. Procedures for doing so are set out in the brochure accompanying the Monty's Rewards application form and as varied and/or replaced from time to time by ALH as detailed on the Website. 12.1.2 If utilised, the Voluntary Pre-Commitment will allow a Member to set a limit on: (a) the amount of time, in a 24 hour period determined by ALH, that the Member may play Games using their Monty's Card; and/or (b) the Member's net loss, in a 24 hour period determined by ALH, on Games played using their Monty's Card. 12.1.3 If a limit referred to in clause 12.1.2 above is reached, the Member will receive an electronic notification superimposed on the screen of the machine upon which the Game is then being played. At that time, although the Member may continue playing Games, the Member will cease to earn Monty's Points as a result of any further Games played before the commencement of trading at a Participating Venue on the next trading day. 12.1.4 If a Member has set a limit referred to in clause 12.1.2 above, any new limit set by the Member that increases the amount of time or net loss, will not take effect until commencement of trading at a Participating Venue on the next trading day.
WoolWorths Are Commited To The Responsible Service of Gaming… MY ARSE!
Let’s open this can of bullshit and expose Woolworths Limited for the lying bunch of fuckwits that they are – because what Woolies deem to be ‘effective measures to minimise gambling harm’ is quite simply not.
Time to Open a Can!
You comfortable? Because I have a feeling this is going to be a long and revealing look into the depressing disconnect between what the ALH Group SHOULD be doing and what the ALH Group ARE doing.
I have taken the liberty of supplying the ALH Group Responsible Service of Gaming requirements and commitments are – please see below where I will summarise each point and then highlight why it’s a PILE OF BULLSHIT
We have a clear commitment to be Australia's most responsible hotel and gaming operator – proudly going above and beyond what's required by legislation – Bruce Mathieson Jnr CEO ALH Group
ALH Charter – Responsible Hotels and Gaming Commitment (544042d98e8a7.pdf)
- All gaming machines to have voluntary pre-commitment limits installed by 2014 – two years ahead of any legislation.
- Comprehensive training including full day annual training for management and key staff at all hotels – mandated.
Report Findings However Indicated Quite the Opposite:
No ALH Staff that we spoke to had ever received any formal training on how to recognize the signs of pokie addiction and/or what steps they should take to reduce the harm and provide the support needed.
NSW Department of Liquor and Gaming –
Responsible Conduct of Gambling
Gaming machines are allowed in registered clubs and hotels. Licensees and venue staff have responsibilities when operating gaming machines.
Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) helps to ensure compliance with the law, reduce gambling related issues and to promote safety (harm minimisation) in venues where there are gaming machines.
Why do you need RCG training?
RCG training is mandatory if your work duties involve gaming machines. This includes, but is not limited to:
- licensees of a full hotel licence
- secretaries of a registered club
- staff with gaming machine duties
- staff who pay out winnings
- staff who patrol or serve in the gaming machine area
Whether you are a staff member or an employer, you may be fined if you work without a valid competency card, or allow employees to work without one. Find out more about fines.
- RCG training course
The RCG training course helps to promote safety in venues where gaming machines are operated.
So You Need an Active Competency cards
A competency card is similar to a driver’s licence or proof of age card, and has a record of training you’ve undertaken to be legally allowed to work in the liquor and gaming industries. The courses recorded on it are:
A competency card is proof you’ve completed training in one or all of these courses.
Please Explain Woolworths Limited!?
This completely contradicts what the ALH Group themselves claim within their Responsible Service of Gaming –
A key focus is our e-learning module providing staff the skills to approach and interact with customers who may be indicating signs of problems with their gambling, and how our self-exclusion program operates.
We partner with agencies such as Gamblers' Help in each state. We want ALH Group staff to learn from these agencies how best to promote the message of responsible gambling. We have established partnerships with The Salvation Army, gambling research experts and mental health organisations. This recognises that problem gambling is a complex issue and requires a multi-level approach.
And Yet We Found The Complete Opposite
Every staff member knew what intoxication looked like and were strict in their adherence to the guidelines of the RSA charter that requires that person or person to be ejected from the premises.
If a gambler spends too much and cannot control their addiction they are not only encouraged back into the ALH owned venue through rewards and membership incentives, they are also forced to eject themselves from the premises' – and even that is something that has to be done through a process that takes a day or two to come into effect and worse still, is only valid for 24 hours anyway?!
Woolworths Give The Ultimate FUCK YOU With their Gaming Charter
- Hotel and Gaming Charter. Rigorous internal and external audits.
Introduced in 2010 and updated in 2012 the Hotel and Gaming Charter outlines the companies mission statement and goals in relation to the responsible service of alcohol and gaming. The 11 statements' or promises (hollow words to allow the government to tick the responsible gambling box basically)
We will list and then proceed to tear these 11 promises apart and put the Pauline on Woolies – Please Explain indeed.
- Gaming rooms are being screened or separated from other areas of the hotel at all ALH venues.
No, no they are not – see report
- Partnerships with expert groups, including Gambler's Help in each state, and the Salvation Army.
David Schwarz – Responsible Gambling Ambassador For the last five years, the ALH Group has worked with David Schwarz, a well-known former professional AFL footballer and reformed problem gambler, as its Responsible Gambling Ambassador. David provides employee education and customer awareness about the importance of asking for help if your gambling becomes a problem. David is available for our staff to discuss any gambling problems they or their families and friends may be experiencing.
This hotel offers a self-exclusion program – 1800858858
Woolworths really are the Pokie People!
The 11 Promises – and We’ll Tear These Ones a New One Shortly Too
- 1 We provide a safe, friendly environment in which all hotel customers can socialise and enjoy themselves in a good atmosphere.
- 2 We provide good value, good quality meals and family friendly dining experiences.
- 3 We believe we have a shared responsibility, along with individuals, families, communities and governments, to ensure responsible behaviour.
- 4 We do not conduct promotions which encourage irresponsible drinking.
- 5 We restrict gaming room access to adults and ensure gaming rooms are screened or separated from other areas of the hotel, so as to not to attract children.
- 6 We were the first national hotel operator to support voluntary pre-commitment – a system that helps players stick to their limit by nominating maximum spending or time limits on gaming machines. This system will be implemented at all ALH Hotels by 2014.
- 7 We train our staff to be aware of behaviour that may indicate gambling problems and to provide appropriate patron support. We require all ALH hotel managers to complete additional advanced responsible gaming training.
- 8 We partner with expert groups and specialists who can help staff and patrons deal with problem gambling, including Gambler's Help (Australia's leading professional counselling service) and the Salvation Army.
- 9 We ensure that ATM machines, where approved, are provided for the convenience of all patrons in a safe, central location and not in gaming areas.
- 10 We support local communities in numerous ways, including working with charities to raise money through our hotels.
- 11 We conduct internal and external audits to ensure we deliver on our commitment to be Australia's most responsible operator of hotels.