Sunday, 26 July 2009

Coles' Pokies Part 9

"The devil is in the details" is defined by as "Even the grandest project depends on the success of the smallest components".

So "the devil is in the details" is in trying to extract real meaning and real action from the email received from Coles' corporate relations manager and his statement to the West Australian concerning what they are doing with their pokie operations. It would have been so much simpler to discern if they are going to act responsibly if they had made an effort to engage and then respond to the issues that I raised.

Click here to read the report in The West or have a look at the image below. You can expand the image by clicking on it.

This endeavour is about getting a substantive response so its worth examining what Coles are reported to Coles to have stated:
"The company abided by the Queensland Responsible Gambling Code of Practice and supported the National Gaming Principles."
This is inline with what Coles emailed me which I reproduced on an earlier blog. It's worth setting out again:
"As part of this review we have considered the National Gaming Principles released by Federal and State Gaming Ministers on 10 July. I discussed these principles with our hotels management only last Friday. The hotels group supports the National Gaming Principles and have confirmed that our business is compliant with its gaming obligations at its hotel venues."
So what are these National Gaming Principles? To find out you need to have a look at The Hon. Jenny Macklin's web site. It is a joint communique of the Ministerial Council on Gaming. If you scroll to the bottom it sets out principles that "should underpin the regulatory and policy frameworks for the conduct of responsible gaming machine activity in clubs and hotels across Australia" and the first principle is:
"Minors should not be allowed to gamble or be exposed to gambling areas within venues"
This is straightforward language and, under any semantic interpretation, means that children should not either see or hear pokie gambling within a venue.

Jon Faine on Radio ABC 774 Melbourne picked up on the point immeadiately and lead his Friday broadcast with the news. It quickly became a national story. Click here to read how the ABC presented the news where minors are no longer to be exposed to gambling areas within venues. The ABC web page has not only a lively discussion but also the audio of Sen Xenophon's interview with Jon.

The devil is in the details....

The person who made the statements on behalf of Wesfarmers/Coles either deliberately mis-told the truth, was mis-informed or made a statement of future intent. The fact is that after being enticed by their aggressive advertising, minors are exposed to pokie gambling areas within their venues. I detail this exposure relating to the eating areas. when reporting my observations of South Australian and Queensland Coles venues.

In many instances, children are legally allowed in the drinking areas where there is also exposure. In venues such as Cole's Kenmore Tavern, there are KENO terminals and even a KENO cashier area in the eating area itself.

The quickest and least expensive way for Wesfarmers/Coles to honour what they wrote and said is to ban children from their pokie venues. My fourth question to Mr Goyder in the newspaper advertisement calls on him to do just that. I will email Wesfarmers/Coles and report on their response.

The devil is in the details....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. People are much better educated than the multi national companies give them credit for. Visible to them or not it is damaging to the credibility of these organisations and Woolworths in particular when they defend their rehetoric instead of backing it up with actions that demonstrate their sincerity. Companies may not be able to measure it but public opinion and the 'silent majority' are not fooled.