As the Sunday Age reported yesterday, Victorian government policies have allowed the Woolworths-Mathieson joint pokie venture, owners of the ALH and Taverner chains, to generate about $2 billion in player losses between October 2004 and June 2008.

At 30 June, 2008, the 57 Victorian ALH and Taverner venues operated 4176 of Victoria's 26,797 operational non-casino pokies. Mathieson companies and Woolworths also have an associated interest in a further 1551 machines located at other hotels and clubs (including the Richmond, Hawthorn, Footscray and Collingwood AFL clubs). Under legislation currently before the Victorian upper house, the dominant position of the joint venture is likely to be further consolidated.