Nov 16, 2011

‘Imbecile’ pokies activist funds full-page newspaper ad

Despite the Baillieu government’s reluctance to tackle serious pokies reform, Victoria is central to the campaign for change and Paul Bendat’s full-page ad is a sign of what is to come for Victorian Liberals.

Stephen Mayne — Journalist and Founder

Stephen Mayne

Journalist and Founder

Pokies billionaire Bruce Mathieson may have retired as CEO of the giant ALH pubs and pokies joint venture with Woolworths on September 30, but his highly motivated opponents are continuing to drive hard for reform. Chief among them are the trio Mathieson famously dubbed “the three imbeciles” during this interview with 774 ABC Melbourne host Jon Faine in March 2010.

These comments pre-dated Andrew Wilkie’s emergence as a political kingmaker, so Mathieson was referring to Tim Costello, Nick Xenophon and wealthy founder Paul Bendat, the son of BRW Rich Lister Jack Bendat.

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6 thoughts on “‘Imbecile’ pokies activist funds full-page newspaper ad

  1. SBH

    Really, I think the criticism ” the O’Farrell government in NSW is firmly in the pocket of Clubs NSW” is a little unnecessary. The NSW government has been beholden to booze betting and bent coppers since 1789.

  2. AR

    The resident shouter on 2GB mornings, Hadley, showed a keen understanding of his audience’s grasp of numbers in another anti-reform bellow. He gave a free run the St George honcho and opened with the wonderful information “..(reform) will cost St George $14M in lost revenue… which means that they will no longer be able to donate $400K to community projects”. Thanks for that clarification.

  3. Andrew L

    Well said Steve. Could we tempt you to visit Castlemaine as we are under attack from a club from Maryborough (many miles away) who want to set up a venue in our town with some 60 machines.

  4. Whistleblower

    I can claim to have first-hand experience of the totally amoral behaviourof representatives of Matheson’s ALH which has an incestuous relationship with Woolworths which is in the same stage of denial in relation to problem gambling as those who know incest is being carried on in the family but prefer to remain silent in the interests of family stability. But in the case Woolworth profit from their pub interests is their prime concern.

    This is the same Woolworths that has as the masthead for their liquor outlets the proud profile of one of Australia’s biggest sales tax swindlers who used his ill gotten gains to cross subsidise his low-priced liquor outlets. This is a bit like using Ned Kelly to promote a bank, provided you ignore the underlying nastiness and the occasional cop killing, the marketing image looks good.

    On a similar basis Woolworths maintains a low profile and looks the other way whilst it garners profits in the millions from problem gamblers while the clubs industry does the dirty work dirty work trying to trash opposition to poker machine reform. The poker machine industry is a dirty business preying on the stupidity of problem gamblers whilst lining its own pockets and distributing minimal amounts back to the community. Unfortunately government has a similar stake in the outcome of poker machine reform as a consequence of its addiction to rivers of gold flowing into state Treasuries as a consequence of the mandated apportionment of poker machine turnover to government. It’s a bit like expecting dope smokers smokers to voluntarily give up their hash.

  5. zut alors

    It’s a pity the community can’t resist the comparative handful of sheckels thrown at it by the clubs. There’s an old saying that when they pay you they own you.

    Currently the clubs have two main defences for their venal industry ie: their alleged largesse to the community and that hoary old chestnut of jobs. The jobs argument can be used to justify pretty much anything eg: bringing back capital punishment as it will provide jobs for hangmen.

  6. Meski

    Crikey, you might want to move your jurisdiction out of Victoria, so we can insult the minister more freely.

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