Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The Burwood RSL Club Surprise

Last Sunday, Mother's Day, marked my first round of visits to Sydney pokie clubs and pubs.

Sadly, there were lots of mothers gambling at their pokies, alone. We watched one elderly lady run through more than $300 in less than 15 minutes.

One of the clubs we visited was the Burwood RSL where they not only had pokies placed on either side of the bar but also upstairs outside their function rooms. This club also marketed to families to bring the kids inside with family entertainment.
The producer of this concert was the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

It seems like everyone is using the pokies to enhance their bottom line. Even our ABC. This is simply wrong.


MichelleL said...

In response to 'The Burwood Club Surprise', I would like to point out that clubs are for members and the general communities benefit, being owned by its members. Clubs are vital community assets offering great social facilities that are accessible to all people, irrespective of age or demographic. With over 37,000 members, the entire team at Burwood RSL Club work creatively and tirelessly to provide the best possible core services of entertainment, cheap food & beverages, activities and promotions. The Club offers a safe and friendly venue, particularly to mature citizens at affordable prices, subsidised or free entertainment for adults, and a range of free or subsidised children's shows, movies and activities during school holidays. As per the above comments, there are 12 poker machines located on the upstairs level outside the Entertainment Dome, however, all are turned off in the event of a children's show or activity being held.

Further, all profits from the Club are retained in the local community and retuned to the community. In fact, over 70 community & charitable bodies in the Inner West are reaping the benefits from the RSL Club's annual donations of over $651,600 given out this August.

ClubsNSW recently instigated an advertising campaign promulgating the great merits of clubs, of which they have many. We invite everyone to 'come on down' enjoy a cheap meal, beverage or show and see what your local club has to offer.

PokieWatch said...

Minister Jenny Macklin's joint statement made in conjunction with all State Ministers is clear. It sets out National principles for the conduct of responsible gaming machine activity in clubs and hotels.

The first principle is "Minors should not be allowed to gamble or be exposed to gambling areas within venues."

The Burwood RSL Club is clearly in breach of the first principle, by its own admission. Whether the pokies are turned on or off is irrelevant.

While the Club's donation of $651,600 is commendable, it compares poorly to the $21,853,205 taken in pokie revenue for the year ending 31 December 2008 and over 2.7 million spent in advertising and promotions. It's also less than 10% of the Club's operating profit for the same period.

This is hardly 'reaping the benefits'. $21 million in pokie losses is more like raping the locals.