Sunday, 5 October 2008

Oops!...Woolies Did It Again.... and Again

Oops!...I did it again
I played with your heart, got lost in the game
Oh baby, baby
Oops!...You think I'm in love
That I'm sent from above
I'm not that innocent
Today's Sunday Age published a story on page 1 about the Hawthorn Football Club claiming $2m pokies revenue as community benefit.

The Sunday Age did not disclose was the signatory of the community benefit statement was Ross Blair-Holt. Mr. Blair-Holt is reported to be the Chief Operating Officer of the ALH group which is in turn is reported to be 75% owned by Woolworths Limited.

In fact both the Vegas at Waverley Gardens (Hawthorn Football Club) and Club Leeds (Footscray Football Club) are disclosed to be associated with Woolworths Limited. Click here to have a look at the PokieWatch.org web pages on the Vegas at Waverley Gardens and Club Leeds.

By virtue of the article in the Sunday Age, it is self evident that the management of these venues is of interest to the public. Minister Robinson should be proactively getting all of this out into the public instead of keeping all this information locked away on an unsubstantiated claim that it is confidential because its 'commercial'.

But there's more. And if my speculation proves correct, a lot worse.

And you won't read about it in The Age. I told them about it in June and got no response.

Click here to have a look at the statements lodged for the Aces Sporting Club. Again the signatory is Mr. Blair-Holt. Again Woolworths is disclosed as an associate.

In the latest statement a sport sponsorship of $162,727 is shown. The same questions might be raised for this venue as for the Hawthorn Football Club.

Firstly, There may be an association with respect to this venue that has not been disclosed. Inspection of the venue on 21 June 2008 indicated an association of the venue with the Melbourne Storm Social Club. Have a look at the admission ticket I signed, scanned and attached to this blog.

An executive of the Storm, John Ribot, is disclosed on the VCGR web site as being associated. Publicly available information indicates that the Melbourne Storm is 100% owned by News Limited. Yet there is no association disclosed with News Limited on the VCGR web site.

If Woolies are responsible for doing everything required by the gambling laws then shouldn't they disclose this?

Secondly, does an indirect payment to an enterprise wholly owned by News Limited qualify as a 'sports sponsorship'? If it does not, then it is in the public interest to know about agreements which could have the ultimate effect of an evasion of the requirements of the Gambling Regulations legislation.

Finally, have a look at the Aces Sporting Club web page on PokieWatch.org. I think it's nasty to place a pokies club next to a driving range and alongside a miniature gold course and visually incorporate a Chinese resturant into the pokies room itself.
Chorus:
Oops!...I did it again
I played with your heart, got lost in the game
Oh baby, baby
Oops!...You think I'm in love
That I'm sent from above
I'm not that innocent

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