February 2019 Gambling News! - Alliance for Gambling Reform

February 2019 Gambling News!

Gambling News: Political donations, record Victorian losses, Melbourne Storm divests, ACT pokies buyback, Aristocrat AGM, Woolworths, NSW, Essendon’s Melton push and loads of gambling media

In this first bumper edition of Gambling News for 2019, we’ve got all bases covered with 10 separate stories spanning national developments, data analysis, political donations,  Woolworths scandals, encouraging reform in the ACT, pokies divestment, reform moves inside the Victorian RSL and much more.

  1. Shocking gambling donations revealed for 2017-18
  2. Record pokies losses in Victoria, companies reveal profits
  3. Around the grounds in NSW: Woolworths, Fairfield, election 
  4. Melbourne Storm divests pokies, others need to follow
  5. Essendon dives further into the pokies sewer in Melton
  6. Time to scrutinise the RSL as reform beckons in Victoria
  7. The media profiles of campaigners who have been harmed by gambling
  8. Noosa joins The Alliance as Queensland debate hots up
  9. ACT pioneers Australia’s first pokies buy-back
  10. Best of the gambling media

1. Record gambling donations to political parties in 2017-18

We know that Australians are the world’s biggest gamblers in per capita terms and one of the reasons governments fail to act on this is the enormous political donations funnelled by the industry to the major political parties.

And so it was earlier this month when the Australian Electoral Commission unveiled its annual dump of political donations data for the 2017-18 financial year.

The figures were shocking, particularly given the amount of money the ruthless pokies pubs poured into the Tasmanian and South Australian election campaigns, where Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White and Nick Xenophon were proposing bold policies which threatened the industry’s lucrative profits.

The Alliance published this comprehensive media statement on the figure, including this list of the biggest donors:

1973 Foundation: $789,197 to ACT Labor in donations and loans from ACT pokies dens  (last year $790,985)

AHA SA division: $324,944 in 72 donations to Lib, Lab and Australian Conservatives

AHA NSW division: $294,092 in 29 donations spread across major parties

AHA Tasmanian division: $269,750 in 14 donations to Tasmanian Liberals

AHA Federal office: $211,044 in 68 donations spread across various parties and divisions

Crown Resorts: $180,638 in 24 donations (last year $209,964)

Tabcorp: $218,000 in 27 donations  (last year $200,000)

Clubs NSW and Clubs Australia: $182,250 in 28 donations  (Last year $173,783)

The Star Entertainment Group: $111,740 in 19 donations (last year $145,000)

Tasmanian pokies operator Goodstone Group: $80,000 to Tasmanian Liberals

Tasmanian pokies operator Kalis Hospitality: $70,000 to Tasmanian Liberals

Tasmania pokies operators Federal Group: $50,000 to Tasmanian Liberals

Tasmanian pokies operator EBC Leisure: $44,000 to Tasmanian Liberals

ALH/Woolworths: $41,737 in 20 donations spread across (last year $27,133)  

But this tells us nothing about the third party spending by the industry and the significant amount of smaller gambling industry donations which fell below the disclosure threshold. For instance, the Tasmanian Liberals only revealed $925,159 or 22.2% of their total revenues of $4.17 million in 2017-18.

This is a sordid state of affairs, particularly considering that the two major parties have long regarded tobacco industry donations as so tainted they are refused.

Just two weeks ago, SA Best upper house MP Connie Bonaros gave this  cracking 9 minute speech in the South Australian Parliament endorsing The Alliance’s call for a complete ban on gambling donations. This can’t happen quickly enough.

Pokies giant Aristocrat Leisure proudly declares that it doesn’t make political donations. Check out p13 of the company’s corporate governance statement which states: “Contributions to political parties and politicians or any kind are strictly prohibited.”

But isn’t Aristocrat the largest supplier of poker machines to Australia’s 5000 pokies pubs and clubs which in turn are huge political donors?

This is an issue that The Alliance raised at the Aristocrat AGM in Sydney last Thursday. We also asked for disclosure of the commercial dealings between Aristocrat and the various pokies clubs owned by the NSW and ACT Labor branches, but didn’t get an answer.

Aristocrat’s chairman claimed it played no part in the Tasmanian election campaign, unlike Woolworths which was displaying blatant partisan political messages on its Tasmanian pubs during the election.

We’re yet to see comprehensive disclosure of gambling industry donations during the recent Victorian election but there is talk that the pubs industry continued its recent strategy of political largesse to fend off long overdue reforms to tackle the enormous harm caused. Watch this space for disclosures.

Finally, here are links to some of the media coverage on this year’s donations data deluge:

Pokies moguls and banks dominated pokies donations data
ABC radio's PM program, 1 February, 2019

Canberra Labor Clubs provide big money to Labor
Ten Daily, 1 February, 2019

Wilkie slams mind-blowing gambling campaigning in Tasmania
The Australian, 1 February, 2019

Who were the biggest funders of Tasmania's pro-gambling campaign?
ABC, 1 February, 2019

Tasmanian gambling takeover highlight needs for campaign finance reform
The Conversation, 1 February, 2019

Huge gambling donations revealed in Tasmania
The Advocate, 1 February, 2019

Comprehensive wrap of Tasmanian pokies donations situation
ABC, 1 February, 2019

$3m in disclosed gambling donations a new record
AGR, 1 February, 2019

2. Record pokies losses in Victoria as big gambling companies release profits

The early part of 2019 has seen a steady stream of data on pokies losses for gamblers and the profit figures some of Australia’s biggest gambling companies.

The Alliance has crunched the numbers on the latest pokies losses in Victoria and it’s not pretty.

The overall loss figure was up $103 million for the calendar year to a record $2726 million. See all the figures in this media release, including a list of the 10 most lucrative venues in 2018, all of which trade the maximum 20 hours a day.

Throw in the $450 million lost on the pokies at Crown Melbourne and Victorians are now dropping close to $3.2 billion a year on the pokies.

After lobbying from The Alliance, Crown is now disclosing the specific pokies revenue at its two Australian casinos and in figures released last week, it showed Melbourne gamblers lost $233 million on Crown’s pokies in the December half (see slide 4), a gain of 0.9% over the half year. This gives Crown a 14.5% market of the Victorian pokies market.

The flat growth at Crown was in contrast to The Star in Sydney where lockout laws continue to benefit the casino which lifted  pokies revenue 10% or $16 million to a record $180 million in the December half (see slide 32).

Woolworths also released its half year figures last week and disclosed that its ALH pubs division record operating profit of $161 million for the half, a slight drop from $163 million previously (see slide 36). The Alliance estimates gamblers are losing about $1.5 billion a year on the 12,000-plus ALH machines in more than 300 venues, with about $650 million of this coming out of Victoria.

One company which continues to profit enormously from Australia’s pokies epidemic is Aristocrat Leisure which disclosed Australian and New Zealand pokies sales of $455 million in 2018, generating an operating profit of $207 million, suggesting profit margins are ridiculously large.

Asked just how many of Australia’s circa 200,000 pokies are Aristocrat machines at last week’s AGM in Sydney, CEO Trevor Croker refused to say.

Hiding in the bunker is pretty standard practice for the gambling industry and we’re still not getting any joy from Woolworths in terms of disclosing just how much gamblers are losing each year on their 12,000-plus machines.

3. Around the grounds in NSW: Woolworths, SMH photo series, councils, election

Woolworths and the NSW pokies industry are continuing to face significant scrutiny from some trail-blazing journalism coming out of the ABC and The Sydney Morning Herald.

On February 14, ABC investigative reporter Steve Cannane produced this online package about Woolworths, along with a compelling piece which ran nationally on ABC radio’s AM program.

NSW is infamous for its weak pokies regulatory regime, so it was surprising to read this strong statement from ILGA provided to the ABC about its Woolworths investigation after whistleblowers came forward revealing the systematic policy of illegally providing free drinks to gamblers:

Liquor & Gaming NSW’s investigation into allegations regarding ALH venues is ongoing. The investigation is comprehensive and its inquiries span more than 50 hotels operated by ALH across NSW.

Liquor & Gaming NSW has issued coercive notices to obtain a significant volume of information and records, and formally interviewed current and former ALH staff and patrons. As the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to make any further comment. Once the investigation is completed, Liquor & Gaming NSW will publicly release its findings.

When asked about this at last week’s Woolworths profit briefing, CEO and new ALH chairman Brad Banducci said the following:

We have been very clear in working hard to ensure that there are no complimentary drinks in our gaming room across any ALH venue across the country. We are aware of the press from last week on the Colyton Hotel and are taking it very seriously and looking into it.

At this stage we feel like we are doing everything we can to be the most responsible, and to lead responsibility, in this particular space. We’ll wait and see if further facts emerge but rest assured of our commitment in this regard and as you probably know I have just joined the board of ALH as the chairman to make sure I work with the team to make sure this happens.

Meanwhile, Fairfax photographer Janie Barrett and SMH senior writer Nick O’Malley teamed up to produce these two powerful pieces last Sunday:

Inside the reality of pokies addiction
Sun Herald, 24 February, 2019

Doctors hit out over Fairfield pokies application
Sun Herald, 24 February, 2019

This photo-journalism by Janie Barrett puts a human face to the enormous misery which almost $7 billion a year in pokies losses causes in NSW. You have to admire the courage of those prepared to speak up about the harm they have suffered.

Meanwhile, The Alliance is still chipping away with NSW councils seeking to emulate the strong support for reform shown by the local government sector in Victoria. In 2018 the number of councils in NSW which adopted a Gambling Harm action policy doubled - from one to two. Out of 128! It’s an indication of the completely different landscape in NSW, where pokies are totally normalized.

Indeed, the NSW ALP thinks nothing of having its main election fundraising dinner at the Revesby Workers Club on March 13.

The Revesby Workers Club took $51 million from pokies gamblers last year and is chaired by former Federal Labor MP Darryl Melham, who has been on the board for 38 years.

However, the nature of public debate in NSW is starting to change, particularly given the ongoing revelations about the enormous losses and dubious practices in Fairfield.

The Alliance now supports the following 3 community based groups in Fairfield working on different aspects of gambling harm:

  • The Fairfield Multicultural Interagency formed a subcommittee, and is currently working with the producers of KaChing! to subtitle the documentary in community languages.

  • Key CEOs of community service provider organisations in the council area have set up an Action Group, and will kick off with a professional development Forum on April 4 “Gambling Harm in Fairfield: Starting the Conversation” with Tim Costello as keynote speaker.

  • Fairfield City Health Alliance successfully applied for a grant to develop a screening tool for use in primary health contexts, and community service programs, to detect different types of gambling harm.

As noted in previous newsletters, in September 2018 Northern Beaches Council adopted a Gambling Harm minimisation policy, after a public exhibition received 160 submissions in support. Ballina Council staff are currently preparing a report to their councillors on how other councils are dealing with the social impact of gambling harm, and Byron has a watching brief on these developments. There are encouraging signs from a number of other councils.

Inner West Council declined to adopt a detailed policy in August 2018, but since then, backed by a small but dedicated local campaign, has agreed to a Gambling Harm Minimisation Compact which includes clubs and pubs, but also commits Council to applying every year for a grant for a gambling harm minimization project, and hosting an annual public Roundtable on efforts to reduce gambling harm in the LGA.

The State election is very close and the Alliance is calling for commitments from all parties and candidates to back the introduction of $1 maximum bets on pokies, ban loyalty programs (which we know encourage gambling, in contravention of Responsible Conduct of Gambling principles) and, if they aren’t the Libs or Nats, not signing any agreements with the clubs and pubs to continue the 12 years of industry protection they have already enjoyed.

4. Melbourne Storm exits the pokies, others need to follow

For Australia to overcome its gambling addiction we really need credible institutions like the Catholic Church, the ALP, the CFMEU, the RSL and various powerful elite sporting clubs to publicly spurn pokies as a legitimate business to be in.

We’ve made excellent progress with AFL clubs over the past year and are still hopeful that Coles will divest, if it can get its proposed deal with private equity firm KKR through the Queensland gaming regulator.

Whilst the new Coles CEO Steve Cain appeared ambivalent to the ethical concerns about running pokies which former Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder used to express, The Australian reported last week that the newly independent Coles was days away from announcing a $500 million deal with KKR.

We had a good win recently when Melbourne Storm divested its enormous pokies venue in Melbourne’s western suburbs, as The Age reported earlier this month.

Storm only bought the Kealba Hotel in Brimbank in 2015 and appear to have turned a quick profit selling it to the Francis family straight after it lifted 2018 pokies revenue to a record $20 million, the 4th highest of any venue in Victoria.

Now we just need the big NRL clubs in NSW to get out of the pokies business as rugby league remains the most pokies-captured sport of all.

5. Essendon ploughs on with new pokies deal in Melton

Unlike Melbourne Storm, it was a different story with Essendon Football Club’s Melton Country Club pokies venue which was given a new 29 year pokies lease by City of Melton on February 4, after strong engagement by The Alliance almost overturned the deal.

The Alliance summed up all the key issues in this media release shortly before the Melton councillors met on December 10.

The new 29-year-lease at a council-owned facility was then approved 8-0 by councillors with no debate but Cr Steve Abboushi, who was absent due to family commitments, then lodged a rescission motion which meant the issue was addressed again at the subsequent council meeting on Monday, February 4, 2019.

Darebin mayor Dr Susan Rennie then joined with two of our champion lived experience advocates, Anna Bardsley and Ian Correia, and presented for an hour to the Melton councillors on January 9.

It was a high impact presentation and when Cr Abboushi proposed a shorter 10 year lease and mandatory closing for the Essendon venue from 1am until 9am each day, the rescission motion was supported by 4 councillors but then sneaked through with the mayor Bob Turner using his casting vote.

The whole saga, including our concerns that mayor Turner had a potential conflict of interest courtesy of $300,000 in funding his charity had received from Essendon Football Club, were neatly explained in this story by journalist Paul Sakkal in The Age.

The December 20 newsletter provided links to the audio of the first City of Melton pokies debate and you can click here for the audio from February 4.

The first two question from The Alliance at the February 4 meeting were on record Victorian pokies losses, trading hours and the mayor’s potential conflict of interest. It ran from 12-21 minutes on the audio file.

We then had two questions from Anna Bardsley starting 25 minutes into the audio file, which focused on Essendon’s extension of its closing time from 1am until 3am on Monday and Tuesday nights, plus support for a different approach from the new Labor member for Melton, Steve McGhie.

In terms of the debate proper, it ran for 20 minutes starting at  32 minutes with Cr Abboushi speaking eloquently from 33 minutes until 39 minutes and then wrapping up the debate for a final two minutes from the 50 minute mark and you can then watch the mayor use his casting vote in the division at 52 minutes.

We very much appreciated the words and voting of Cr Abbouchie, Cr Kathy Madjlik, Cr Lara Carli, and Cr Michelle Mendes, who supported the concept of a 10 year lease and mandatory closing between 1am and 9am.  

Sadly, Cr Ken Hardy, Cr Sophie Ramsay and Cr Goran Kesic all voted against the rescission and then when mayor Bob Turner did likewise, without explaining why, it was dead-locked 4-4. It was then that the mayor used his casting vote to effectively vote

Essendon has largely remained in the bunker on the Melton pokies issue, although it was raised at its December 17 AGM, after The Alliance distributed this flyer to members as they entered the meeting.

President Lindsay Tanner and CEO Xavier Campbell were both quoted at length in this piece published by The Age shortly before Christmas and Tanner was again questioned about Essendon being in the pokies business when he appeared on The Conversation Hour with ABC Melbourne’s Jon Faine last week.

6. Time to scrutinise the RSL’s unholy alliance with the pokies industry

The Alliance was particularly disappointed with the way the Melton RSL was deployed to influence councillors to deliver a pro-pokies outcome for the Essendon Football Club.

Significant numbers of RSL members attended both council meetings including diggers wearing their medals.

Gamblers will lose close to $200 million over the 29 year term of the lease and Essendon was provided political cover by the fact they allow the Melton RSL to operate out of the Melton Country Club.

So just why is the RSL allowing itself to be used by the gambling industry in this way?

There are around 250 RSL sub-branches in Victoria but only around 50 have pokies, generating more than $200 million a year in losses.

This makes the RSL the second largest Victorian pokies operator after Woolworths/ALH.

The RSL used to be the voice of veterans but these days they seem to have lost their way, which might explain why so many alternative veterans groups have popped up such as Soldier On.

The Victorian branch is run out of ANZAC House at 4 Collins Street, which appears to be populated by lots of gambling industry types rather than ex servicemen.

The long-serving chief operating officer Brian Cairns has spent most of his career in the gaming industry. The new CFO, Luke Gilholme, who started more recently also has a gaming industry background.

We keep hearing rumblings that those who have served are increasingly annoyed about the mission drift.

There is also serious concern that head office is biased in favour of pokies clubs, forcing non-pokies clubs to sell their buildings and then redistributing the money primarily to pokies RSLs rather than those which are pokies free.

The RSL has an aging all-male board which increasingly looks out of touch with younger veterans.

There have been significant governance issues inside the RSL in NSW and Queensland and don’t be surprised if the Victoria branch faces some increased scrutiny in the period ahead, potentially coming from within.

Indeed, just look at the February 20 Facebook post by the Camberwell City RSL which is openly calling for the RSL to divest its pokies division and took its concerns direct to ANZAC House last week.

Here is the full post on their Facebook page:

Today, members of Camberwell City RSL received a briefing on the contribution made by the Gaming Sub Branches to RSL Victoria. This brief was delivered by the Victorian State President, CFO, and COO. We learned that:

In 2017, RSL Victoria generated $300 million of revenue from gaming (poker machines) and licenced trading (bar takings) off an asset base of $500M.

In 2017, RSL Victoria reported $8.4 million of profit.

The outcome was clear. The RSL Victoria State Executive (the board) needs to be changed and changed, fast.

If you are a veteran who thinks that this stinks, now is your chance to get involved and make a change!

Go and join your local RSL who doesn’t support poker machines, vote for a committee that wants to get rid of poker machines and let’s get RSL Victoria to return to its roots – comradeship and support to veterans and their families.

Proving that RSL’s can deliver benefits to veterans without relying on pokies, Camberwell City RSL is this Sunday hosting an event from noon until 5pm giving away up to $10,000 to students who have served to assist with their studies. Check out the details here.

7. Join Anna Bardsley in reflecting on media and your lived experience of gambling harm

It is vital that the voices of people with a lived experience of gambling harm are heard by politicians and others in the public debate. Anna Bardsley has recovered from a pokies addiction and is now a champion advocate for reform. She travelled to City of Melton 3 times in recent weeks to attend two council meeting, where she asked questions, and separately to brief the councillors on gambling harm.

We’re starting a page on our website featuring brief summaries of people who have been harmed by gambling  and are advocating for change to showcase their great work and in the hope it will help inspire others to step forward. We’d love to hear from others on your experiences, particularly when advocating in public.

This is what we’ll be saying about Anna:

Anna Bardsley first appeared in the media talking about gambling in March 2013 for the launch of the book “From Ruin to Recovery: Gamblers share their stories”. Anna wrote honestly about the shame she felt as a pokies addict and when she realised the language around gambling had made the shame deeper and stopped her from seeking help, she was determined to change the conversation about gambling. And so began her work as an accidental advocate.

She appeared in the ABC series You Can’t Say That. Anna is a speaker with the ReSPIN speakers bureau and also performs with Three Sides of the Coin, a theatre troupe made up of people who have been personally affected by gambling harm and now tell their stories to educate and inform.

Anna’s most famous media performance came at the 2017 Crown Resorts AGM when she took on James Packer, asking him and the gambling industry to be more responsible. Listen to what ABC radio’s The World Today put to air, plus watch Anna here on the Channel Seven and Channel Ten news that night.

When the Victorian pokies losses figures for 2017-18 came out, Anna appeared at a press conference on the steps of Parliament house with Tim Costello and Whittlesea mayor Kris Pavlidis as can be seen in this package on Seven News.

Anna has also spoken at multiple council meetings and met with close to a dozen Victorian State MPs, as well as attending numerous other political events and conferences advocating for long overdue gambling reform.

# Please email the Champions for Change Community Builder, Pepi Belfort [email protected] to register your interest in the program or call 0488 151 645 for more information.

8. ACT government completes pioneering pokies buyback

After years of delay, the ACT Government has finally completed its pokies buyback, cutting the number of licences from almost 5000 to 4000, at a cost of $14 million.

The Canberra Times had the story last week with the official announcement from Attorney General Gordon Ramsay following two days later.

Perhaps the most interesting detail was this follow-up piece in The Canberra Times showing how many pokies each club chain had surrendered and for how much compensation.

The Labor Club started the process with 542 entitlements and 489 machines on the floor of their 4 Canberra pokies dens. However, they have been given planning incentives worth $1.59 million in exchange for surrendering 106 entitlements which means they will have to cut their floor numbers by 53 to 436. This is progress, although the governance of a Labor government dishing out taxpayers funds to its own party’s gambling business is unusual to say the least.

The ACT had close to the highest concentration of pokies licences in Australia with many clubs hoarding surplus entitlements which have now been removed from the system.

Now that the ACT has shown how this can be done, which will be the next state to move?  NSW and Queensland have the highest density of machines of any states and are the two most obvious candidates.

9. Noosa joins The Alliance as pokies debate emerges in Queensland

In other interesting news, we’re delighted to have secured Noosa Council as the first financial member of The Alliance from Queensland. Check out all of council supporters on this page of our website.

The pokies bear is stirring in Queensland with significant recent media around the controversial second Gold Coast casino, the pokies push at the Pig N Whistle pub in Indooroopilly and then record pokies losses in 2018.

Queensland has moved to an open data system for pokies losses which is a lot better than what NSW is serving up.

Channel Nine in Brisbane produced this strong story on the record 2018 Queensland losses of $2.4 billion and then News Corp reporter Geoff Egan did a pile of work to generate stories on the pokies losses in 13 regional Queensland newspapers.

There was also this strong Felicity Caldwell piece on Nine’s Brisbane Times website last week which made excellent use of the new open data now offered by the Queensland Government and even spurred Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk into observing that: “I would actually like to see in the future that we actually have less pokies in Queensland.”

Indeed, Premier, you have the power to do something about this.

Queensland has the second highest per capita pokies spend of any Australian state after NSW and it remains disappointing that the Labor Government has not embraced serious reform over the past 5 years, although these are encouraging comments from the Premier.

A good start would be to not proceed with the proposed second casino on the Gold Coast, something the various glitter strip clubs and pubs are strongly opposed to, along with the incumbent operator Star Entertainment.

10. Around the grounds of gambling media coverage

There has been plenty of lively material to add to our web page linking to interesting media on gambling issues from around the world. Here are a few of the items we recommend you sample.

Two men charged over soccer match fixing in Melbourne
ABC online, 26 February, 2019

Clubs NSW fails in Press Council action against SMH
SMH, 25 February, 2019

How Ladbrokes helped a fraudster break the law, hid settlement from regulator
TUNF, 24 February, 2019

Tim Costello slams Fairfield Hotel hospital funding deal
Daily Mail Australia, 24 February, 2019

Inside the reality of pokies addiction
Sun Herald, 24 February, 2019

Doctors hit out over Fairfield pokies application
Sun Herald, 24 February, 2019

Who got the compo and who quit their Canberra pokies?
The Canberra Times, 23 February, 2019

Queensland Premier wants fewer pokies
Brisbane Times, 19 February, 2019

Queensland pokies losses getting worse
Daily Mail, 19 February, 2019

Queenslanders lose staggering $2.4b on the pokies
Brisbane Times, 18 February, 2019

ACT sets strong precedent with successful pokies buyback program 
Canberra Times, 18 February, 2019

Tom Watson slams Paypal for recklessly providing gambling credit
The Guardian, 17 February, 2019

New Federal sports integrity tribunal 'dead on arrival'
The Age, 15 February, 2019

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci steps up as ALH chair
The AFR, 15 February, 2019

Woolworths in denial over toxic pokies business
Daily Mail, 15 February, 2019

Woolies under the hammer over illegal free booze at 50 NSW pubs
ABC radio's AM program, 14 February, 2019

NSW pokies regulator issues coercive notices to Woolworths pubs
ABC investigations, 14 February, 2019

Sportsbet pays Krygious 40k, undermines gambling integrity in tennis
ABC TV's 7.30, 12 February, 2019

A deluge of pokies losses in Queensland
Nine News Brisbane, 13 February, 2019

Logan pokies are the most lucrative in Queensland
Courier Mail, 13 February, 2019

Tim Costello slams Sportsbet pitch to open Victorian retail stores
The Age, 12 February, 2019

Gambling addiction question on Q&A
ABC TV, 11 February, 2019

Mark Dreyfus on gambling and Labor's Canberra pokies dens
ABC TV's Q&A, 11 February, 2019

Venal power of poker machines and big money Tasmanian politics
SMH, 10 February, 2019

Rebecca White ABC radio interview walking away from pokies policy
ABC Hobart, 8 February, 2019

Tasmanian Labor walks away from strong pokies position
ABC, 8 February, 2019

Why Australia needs a Royal Commission into gambling
Crikey, 8 February, 2019

UK online gambling checks to be strengthened
BBC, 7 February, 2019

Crown Resorts asks for another sweetheart planning deal in Melbourne
The Age, 7 February, 2019

Another sweetheart planning deal for Crown Resorts in the works
Southbank News, 6 February, 2019

Melton mayor hit with conflict of interest claims over Bombers pokies vote
The Age, 5 February, 2019

Melbourne Storm windfall as it divest pokies
Age/SMH, 3 February, 2019

Wilkie: Labor's dirty little pokies secret
SMH, 2 February, 2019

Scandalous pokies influence pedalling in Tasmania
SMH, 2 February, 2019

Pokies moguls and banks dominated pokies donations data
ABC radio's PM program, 1 February, 2019

Canberra Labor Clubs provide big money to Labor
Ten Daily, 1 February, 2019

Wilkie slams mind-blowing gambling campaigning in Tasmania
The Australian, 1 February, 2019

Who were the biggest funders of Tasmania's pro-gambling campaign?
ABC, 1 February, 2019

Tasmanian gambling takeover highlight needs for campaign finance reform
The Conversation, 1 February, 2019

Huge gambling donations revealed in Tasmania
The Advocate, 1 February, 2019

Comprehensive wrap of Tasmanian pokies donations situation
ABC, 1 February, 2019

Naming and shaming Victoria's 10 biggest pokies venues
New Matilda, 29 January, 2019

Jenna Price: Australian hotels failing staff and customers
SMH, 28 January, 2019

Rooty Hill RSL aims to diversify away from pokies
Sydney Morning Herald, 28 January, 2019

Record $2.73 billion lost on pokies in Victoria in 2018
Guardian Australia, 25 January, 2019

Record pokies losses in Queensland in 2018
Nine News, 22 January, 2019

More data revealed on Australia's pokies epidemic
Daily Mail Australia, 22 January, 2019

Bloomberg editorial on the dangers of legalising US sports gambling
Bloomberg, 21 January, 2019

How betting agencies restrict gamblers who win too much
ABC online, 20 January, 2019

Inside the Sheldon Adelson lobbying campaign against US online gambling
Wall Street Journal, 18 January, 2019

100 European tennis players implicated in match mixing
Associated Press, 17 January, 2019

Lawyer Brody Clarke jailed for 6 years after $10m fraud to fund $100m gambling splurge
SMH, 16 January, 2019

UK cross party reform group takes on broader gambling reform remit
Igaming, 14 January, 2019

BBC exposes failing UK self-exclusion schemes (51 mins)
BBC, 13 January, 2019

Andrew Wilkie urges Rebecca White to stay strong on the pokies
The Mercury, 12 January, 2019

Clubs NSW brazenly backs Nat candidate in Dubbo
Daily Liberal, 8 January, 2019

UK government invests heavily in network of gambling clinics
Casino Guardian, 8 January, 2019

UK to open multiple gambling addiction clinics
The Mirror, 5 January, 2019

Ladbrokes CEO slams Tabcorp, reveals NEDs windfall
The AFR, 2 January, 2018 (pay)

Lift off for the point of consumption tax
The Age, 1 January, 2019

Macau gambling losses soar to $US37.6 billion in 2018
Reuters, 1 January, 2019

Samantha Thomas interviewed about sports gambling advertising deluge
ABC Melbourne, 28 December, 2018

Ross Davey, Charles Livingstone and Stephen Mayne on deluge of gambling ads
ABC Radio's AM program, 28 December, 2018

Anna Bardsley and Samantha Thomas interviewed about sports gambling
ABC News Breakfast, 28 December, 2018

The economics of poker machines in Australia
Radio National, "The Money", 20 December, 2018

That’s all for now. We’ll be back with another Gambling News in March ahead of the NSW state election.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to become a financial supporter of The Alliance as we strive to reduce world record levels of gambling harm in Australia, click here.

Until next time, stay safe.

Do ya best,
Stephen Mayne
Editor of Gambling News
Feedback to [email protected],  0412 106 241 or DM tweet to @maynereport