Friday, 27 March 2009

No Brothel at Shoppingtown

Received a tip that an illegal brothel was operating out of the motel rooms that are a part of Woolworths' associated Shoppingtown pokie pub. So I sat in a car in the car park with a reporter for over 2 hours to check it out. It's not true.

The anticipation was as great as the Cousins - Judd clash happening at the same time at the MCG. What were the implications if Richmond by engaging the troubled Cousins were to return to their winning ways? What if my equating pokies and brothels (both are legal adult entertainment) could be shown to be actually occurring at Woolies' pokie pub?

I brought my camera, my video camera (it has infra-red capabilities) and a set of binoculars. They never got out of my back pack. The reporter brought one of those huge digital cameras. Few pictures were taken.

Mates took the opportunity to make jokes about bringing us donuts.

All we did see is a few blokes, who seemed to be working construction in the area, come and go. A few lights were switched on and off in the rooms. The truest essence of the cliché: "Nothing to Report".

On the other hand, there was plenty to get aggravated about inside the Shoppingtown pokies set-up.
  • The "Kids Eat Free" poster in day-glo green and pink still greets gamblers on their way into the pub along with 2 ATMs set side by side.
  • The main eating area is closed for construction so that all diners must pass by the pokie room
  • The remaining eating area, next to the bar, gets a clear and continual view of the sights of the pokie room.
  • Signs remains promoting parties for children although there is nowhere for them to party without pokie bombardment
  • The pokie room is adorned with signs promoting more gambling
  • Regulation 17 signs warning gamblers about the dangers of pokie gambling, continue to be placed high on the pokie to impede visibility to the gambler.
  • Contrary to their Queensland practices, we watched Woolies/Mathieson pokie room staff serve gamblers coffee while gambling at their pokies.
It's so easy to require pokie gamblers to take a break while sipping their latte or flat white. These pokie operators are so relentless for the pokie dollar they won't even do that.

No brothel but it's still business as usual at the Shoppingtown. No easy Richmond revival either.

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