If ever you wanted evidence that Woolworths is embarrassed about being Australia’s biggest pokies operator, look no further than the fact it is still yet to tell the ASX about spending more than $150 million buying new licences in Victoria.

The Victorian government revealed it had raised $981 million from the auction of 27,500 10-year pokies licences on Tuesday afternoon while hundreds of journalists were in the Canberra Budget lock-up.