Deadbeat Club

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Dummy Spits, Politics

I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of being treated like an idiot. We cop it all the time whether it’s a TV commercial like the latest Colgate ad that treats us like we are stupid, or whether it’s the propagandists think if they tell us often enough that Tony Abbott is loved in Western Sydney we’ll believe it.

Today I thought I’d vent a bit…

We all know that there is a major issue with problem gambling in Australia, and pokie machines are a big part of that problem. Some of you that have followed my posts for a while may even remember a post I did on the pokies back in 2011, which is still relevant today.

In Sydney alone there are more poker machines than there are in the whole of Las Vegas, and that is a city built just for gambling.

It is hard to find a pub without a pokie, and it is damn near impossible to even imagine a club without more machines than customers.

When our children turn 18 they are expected to cope with the sudden appearance of gambling virtually everywhere they go, and I’m sure it is of no co-incidence that they are learning to deal with the affects of alcohol at the same time. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see the potential problems there…

Some political parties are so committed to pokies that they put potential candidates faces on them...

Some political parties are so committed to pokies that they put potential candidates faces on them…

But what really pisses me off is with all the talk about problem gambling that we are constantly being spoon fed the line:

“Clubs, part of the solution”

What a crock of shit.

Do they really think that we are that stupid? Clubs that are struggling for cash with many on the verge of going under are going to be looking for a means of stopping people throwing money their way? I’m sorry, I find that pill a bit hard to swallow….

Clubs being part of the solution is a bit like saying:

  • Drug dealers are part of the solution in the fight against drug addiction.
  • Breweries part of the solution to alcoholism.
  • Big Tobacco and their Liberal Party donations part of the solution to nicotine addiction.
  • Smith and Wesson part of the gun crime solution
  • KFC are lead players in the solution to childhood obesity

These are the same clubs that spent millions on advertising to stop the government putting through reform legislation on poker machines. Spending the money your nanna or your child, or maybe even you flush down the pokies to influence the government.

The remind me of the NRA and gun lobby groups in the US binding together everytime there is a massacre at a school.

These are the same clubs that have a picture of a Labor MP next to virtually every ATM and Poker Machine section in their clubs accusing them of attempting to “hurt their community” and other such nonsense for attempting to tackle the problem gambling issue.

Part of the propaganda solution at a club in Penrith

Part of the propaganda solution at a club in Penrith

These are the same clubs that ambushed the coverage of an NRL Final broadcast with commentary typical of the “cash for comment” scandal. Commentators voiced their opinions against pokie reform as an anti-pokie reform website address was advertised on screen. The commentators denied being told to do this at first and later changed their story. A new broadcast on the commentary is below. 

These are the clubs that organise free buses to pick up people from retirement villages, not to play bowls, but to play pokies. Free tea and bickies for all…

If you think that this sounds like part of a solution, then best put your head back in the sand.

Yes their lobbyists will come out and say they are spending money to fight problem gambling, but I would challenge them to release figures and compare them to that of pokie profits.

Big Tobacco spends money on anti-smoking and medical research as well, but nobody seriously thinks of them as saints.

With all this talk of nanny-state fanning the flames of misguided anger it is no wonder the mis-informed are in such a huff about it.

Nanny State, what bollocks, do they want to lift seat–belt laws as well, perhaps drink-driving restrictions? We already have rules regulating how far an RBT or booze bus has to be from a pub or club. After all putting one too close to a club might mean someone will drink less before climbing into the driver’s seat, we be can’t having that can we? Once again clubs being part of the solution.

As we close in on the September election it will be interesting to see what propaganda is thrown at us from the clubs who are clearly scared to death of losing their license to print money.

Printing money at the Royal RSL Mint

Printing money at the Royal RSL Mint

The Labor Party have committed to pokie reform to address problem gambling and its affect on the community. Whether you agree with how it’s to be implemented or not, at least they are having a go.

Alternatively The Liberal Party have committed to raising the company tax rate of every company and small business by approximately 4.5% and relaesed no plans for pokie reform.

The Clubs becoming a mouthpiece of the Liberal Party shows that even a promised tax hike doesn’t compare with the vast rivers of cash being generated from pokies.

Anyhow. I’d love to say more but I need to go and discuss my alcohol problems with a man named Jack Daniels.

Apparently he is part of the solution….

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Comments
  1. owen1967 says:

    Do they really think that we are that stupid? ….clearly Peter, the answer is YES.

  2. Peter I complained to the president of an RSL club when the bar staff has the Tshirts on, I walked over to him and said, what would you say if they has a Greens, Laber or Liberal Tshirt on…this is political advertising..he could not see the link. When I pointed out that the AHA was a astroturfer for the Libs and I feel that it is against every principal that the people who built this club fought for they said I was an idiot. Why is my local members face on that poster then? OK you may call me an idiot but unlike you I have two masters degrees in media and I know exactly what is going on here, you are a patsy sheep who enable peoples addictions. You are destroying this community and are not qualified to run this multimillion dollar business. My father took me here when it was a weatherboard hall, how long have you been here? He shut up like a clam. A 75 year old bloke come over and shook my hand.

  3. salzagal says:

    I liked Micallef’s take this week, where the bus driver picking up the oldies just took the money directly from them to save them the bother of going out:-)

  4. Jay says:

    Indeed. That these clubs think, or at least try to portray, that they give more back to the community than they take is farcical. Oh for a time when Pokies are no longer in pubs and clubs. It’s a dream.
    If a pub or club cannot survive without them, they’re doing something wrong.

  5. Bloss says:

    Interesting to note that the Liverpool Club in Sydney is owned by the Catholic Church. They also own the Thurgoona Country Club resort near Albury. Both these venues have poker machines but you wouldn’t know it if you looked on their websites. It really is a disgrace.

    • wixxy says:

      I know the Liverpool club had signs up by their ATMs and near their pokies with the anti ALP logans and propaganda also…. so much for religion and politics not mixing. I’d like to know if these clubs have a tax free status from their religious ownership…

  6. clarittee says:

    I used to stop when driving and have a meal at RSL clubs. Since they started propagandising I will never go in one again. So who loses out there ?I won’t be the only one who reacts like that.
    I haven’t put a coin in a machine for 20 years.
    i was booked into the Panthers a while back . Never seen a place so dedicated to relieving you of your money by any means possible.
    The local chinese restaurant where I live was wondering why the clientelle had dropped off so dramatically. It coincided with the opening of the local TAB. I presume that most local businesses experienced similar lack of cashflow. If you throw it into the one armed bandit you can’t spend it anywhere else. It’s gone.

  7. joy cooper says:

    These clubs are very powerful & have duped their members into believing the AHA, Clubs NSW & LNP propaganda. Such as false claims of having to “sack all their wonderful staff & close down without poker machines” crap. The locals get frightened that they will no longer have a place to meet the mates, drink subsidised beer, win meat tray raffles, eat cheap meals, have somewhere to take the missus on a Friday night & blame the government for their woes.

    Having been appalled at the actual pittance they hand back to the community in the name of charity, I believe that their mantra of giving to the community is a phony one.

    RSL clubs, in particular, should be non-political but they aren’t & tend to lean right on many occasions.

  8. Bob Lloyd says:

    Great article Peter. Spot on. I live in Dubbo and remember very well the anti-government advertising posters plastered all around the club. Because of the proliferation of poker machines in every pub and club in the city it has the nick name Dub Vegas. Yes the RSL Club contributes to community activities but it is a very small fraction of their total take from the pokies.

  9. wrb330 says:

    Nice one Peter,
    Seems im one of many who share your disgust, my issue stems from trying to find a pub or club where these monstrosities arent invading into the dining areas. just once I would like to escape the endless bloody dinging and ringing of these money vaccums while I eat. There is only one solution but it will never be used, sunset provisions for licencing and go back to only RSL and select sporting clubs being issued approval to have them. Pubds can revert to beer tickets & raffles.
    So id sunsets were introduced by say December 2015 the issue would be done and dusted in 2 years.
    Labors reforms arent perfect and I personally dont think they will achieve much, but youre right, at least they are trying.
    But thanks to the internet people will just jump online to the many casino’s offering it virtually.
    Or switch to the races via Tom Waterhouse or some such.
    But many, a great many actually will simply stop gambling due to restriction of access as it used to be back in the days when Victorians had to travel to NSW to lose.

    All it takes is a Government wanting to do whats right for its people even if its very unpopular, to stamp its foot and say enough, we will do whats best regardless.

    Cheers Mate a good very read..

  10. clarittee says:

    There are exceptions to everything. The Geelong RSL where I DO GO has warnings about the risks of excessive gambling everywhere. What a plesant change from what has become normal.

  11. jalvaradogui says:

    Does anyone agree, that if the government is making millions out of pokies will they be really interested in stoping what is happening to the gamblers.
    Fact chance, after all they need the money to pay for the bullshit that we read about them in the news papers.

  12. Controversial Boots says:

    The over reaction of the clubs to the proposed reforms is a sure sign that the thing they deny (making ship loads of money off unfortunate addicts and keeping that money for themselves) is absolutely true. No better than stand over merchants or drug dealers, really.

  13. clarittee says:

    I think pokie money goes to the states. They are generally hooked on it, same as fining people for being a few K’s over the limit. Not serious deterrent as you watch your speedo instead of the road, and if you sre so close , surely you are trying to do the right thing.

  14. Remember the stink over smoking in clubs and pubs? Has the sky fallen in? I noticed the catholic club and Bankstown sports loves all the little community clubs going broke…they buy them.. Good article Pete. Now get onto the Paramedics splitting with the HSU, I’m interested in your perspective.

  15. Clair says:

    I worked out in the community the last month & spent that time driving between Penrith & Strathfield. What disgusted me was seeing Rooty Hill RSL, an enormous beacon of opulence, in amongst so very poor & underprivileged streets. Just down from Mt Druitt hospital, in an area where arguably our cities’ most poorest & struggling live.

    • jalvaradogui says:

      that is because the under financial class sometimes try to emulate upper financial class by visiting those opulent premises, as they often hear the rich spending millions as way of releasing the pressures of life.
      However it does not work same way for the no so wealthy.

  16. clarittee says:

    They say the lower socio-econoic groups tend to gamble more and when things go bad there is no drop off in activity.Hope for a pay off. on rotten percentage probabilities. It’s a cruel irony that they run the line that they aid the masses. Robin Hood in reverse. Addictive tendencies exploited to the full. How many of these are owned by the Cartolic Church? They used to have BINGO in the old days. Would they have tax-free status? That’s discriminating against non believers (and they miss out on heaven too). Totally iniquitous.

  17. wizman says:

    Pokies are a real state revenue issue. Thanks to the GST agreement made under the Howard federal government, money from poker machine tax is not counted in “state revenue” when deciding on the carve up of GST. This makes states like WA furious because they (“we” cos I live there) have so few pokies – eastern states have many tens of thousands of them. So over here is the line that WA gets ripped in the GST stakes while the easterners get their GST and pokies revenue.

    Howard was a genius that you had to get unanimous support of the states to change the rate of GST and other legislation. Cannot see QLD, NSW or VIC ever voting to reduce their list of things exempt from consideration when carving up GST.

    • SG Warren says:

      It’s a bit sad really. Here in WA people spend on average about $184 on gambling compared to $375 in Victoria.

      Disregard any report you see that claims we spend more on lotteries than other States. That was all based on a journo who couldn’t read stats seeing that WA had a larger portion of it’s gambling revenues come from pokies and assuming that 30% of $184 was a bigger number than 20% of $375….. because 30 is a bigger number than 20 and they don’t understand that the 30% they are referencing actually equals $55 and the 20% actually equals $75.

      Tragically pretty much every other journo in the country who has reported on gambling has repeated this claim since then because they are all useless wastes of oxygen.

      If they were ever going to introduce a law to limit what journalists can’t put into print it should be to ban them ever using percentage comparisons without referencing the real figures being referenced. Oh and a ban on any use of percentages on percentages would be good too. Most journos simply don’t have the maths skills to use them properly, even journos working on finance/ political reporting.

  18. sue says:

    When the clubs did their thing against the govt on Pokies and they had all those ads about supporting teams in the community, I decided to test the truth of their ads. Many clubs have their annual reports on line, a quick search showed not that much money goes to community teams. Still the media with advertising $s to raise aren’t likely to publish the facts.

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