“Kids eat free”: Woolworths’ plans to get our grandchildren into pubs 49



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Source: Batterypark.tv

Last night on ABC’s 7.30 program, it was revealed that Woolworths-owned ALH Group will be rolling out a gambling rewards card (Monty’s Rewards) in December, news that has since been slammed by anti-poker machine campaigners.

It is not only being panned by campaigners, but parents who are alarmed that one of the upcoming changes includes a targeted children’s club, encouraging more adults to bring their kids along to the pub.

Woolworths will continue to promote their family-friendly values, announcing that ALH Group plans to target children as a way to drive sales in its pokie pubs through Kids Clubs and entertainment.

In the analyst’s report of Woolworths’ company results a commitment to offer “promotional offers like kids eat free to drive food sales” was found.

The pubs visited in the ABC investigation had playgrounds for children, and while Woolworths said they would separate the children’s playgrounds and dining rooms from the pokie floors, 7.30 discovered that they were right next to each other in some pubs.

The glazed glass walls did not do much to hide the pokies’ flashing lights from children using play equipment and in the dining rooms.

“This is an immersive experience for young children that normalises gambling,” anti-pokies campaigner Paul Bendat said.

“And there’s nothing more powerful than seeing your parents gamble, seeing the grandpas and grandmas that they may observe in the poker machine room”.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon said that the new gambling rewards card “was meant to be a harm minimisation measure…turned by Woolworths into a harm-exacerbation measure by using this card,” he said, reports ABC.

“This isn’t so much a loyalty card as an addiction card”.

Mr Bendat said the card is “essentially a Fly Buys for gambling”.

“You sign up for a card, you give them a bunch of your personal details and every time you gamble on one of their poker machines, you insert the card,” Mr Bendat said.

Although the gambler can limit their spending, it only lasts for 24 hours, making it likely that problem gamblers will forget or simply bypass it.

Victorian Gaming Minister, Jane Garrett shocked audiences by saying she and Woolworths both agree that the gambling card will be more discreet and it has less stigma. Do you agree?

“People like loyalty programs. They like them at their coffee shops, they like them on their plane trips, they like them at their local restaurants – of themselves, loyalty programs are not bad,” Ms Garrett told 7.30 last night.

But isn’t a gambling rewards card encouraging gambling instead of minimising it? Ms Garrett argued that a loyalty program has “different roles for different people”.

“I’m not tarnishing all of those people who work in this industry and all of the people who enjoy going out to venues and taking their kids out to dinner,” she said.


What do you think about the new measures to entice problem gamblers to pubs and bring along their kids?

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  1. No way will my grandchildren be manipulated into a pub at an early age. Nick off Woolworths and get a moral conscience.

    1 REPLY
    • tats your choise. but lots of people dont think like that. there choise as well/ …..i agree with you but, the pub is no place for kids.

  2. OMG families have been eating in Pub and Clubs with Poker Machines for years…why is it just now that Woolworth’s are involved it is now taboo. All the family pubs and clubs I know have poker machines in view of the kids play areas, if not the are only around a corner or outside a door. Do you all think that by taking children to these places is going to make Gamblers out of them OMG grow up and get over it, the kids grow up to be what ever the parents teach them and when they get old enough to gamble that will then be their decision not because they went to a pub or a club with poker machines. Kids eat free used to be the norm years ago, nothing to do with poker machines more to do with the drop off in patrons over the past couple of years…..and places now being more child friendly than ever before.

    12 REPLY
    • They are using children to manipulate and entice adults into gambling while at the venue. It’s OK to go to a pub for a family meal and then go home. Read the article again.

    • If anything the law does state that kids are not allowed within the gambling or poker machine areas, , & a facility must have appropriate signage in place for the public to view. The fines are substantial for the offenders & the owner of the premises

    • OMG some of you people are simpletons. How could taking kids into a pub for a feed turn them into gamblers. Get a brain and use it you morons.

    • Yolanda Brunton – Yolanda Brunton It is interesting to see how such a soaring intellect as yours does not understand the basic psychology of advertising and habituation.

    • advertising is there to trap morons. I thank god I have the intellect to ignore advertising. Thank you for your reply, I rest my case as my comments are well proven.

    • Where are your comments well proven Yolanda.You have replied to this,so where is your so called intellect now.Quite frankly i think you are the MORON,not the others.

    • Yolanda Brunton – My goodness Yolanda, you really are quite superior to most of us mere mortals.

    • Get a life…..no such thing if you are weak then you will gamble but the majority of us see it for what it is….nothing.

  3. The thin end of the wedge was many years ago in my state. Victoria had no pokies/casinos. All the pollies said they were evil. Then someone explained to said pollies how they could make so much money by levying a small turnover tax on this gambling. Lo and behold! This evil suddenly became a good thing.

    1 REPLY
    • Money $$$ can make everything sound good to a Politician 🙂 the more they reel in the more they have to rort 🙂

  4. I may be wrong here but I think ordinary clubs around N.S.W anyway have loyalty cards. I know the one near me has, it is just a membership card and you put it in a slot when you play the poker machines to get discount drinks and meals and if you get enough points you can get a ham at Christmas. I am not a member but a neighbour is and she gives me the occasional free meal voucher.

  5. Say “NO” to Monty’s Rewards! Encouraging gambling (RSL Clubs have been doing this for years) is tempting fate with too many who are likely to become hooked and lose everything-including their self-respect!

    1 REPLY
  6. As the law states, especially in NSW, underage kids etc are not allowed in a gambling or poker machine area, & premises that have these areas must have appropriate signage in place to warn the general public frequenting these venues. The fines are substantially for the offenders & the owner of the premises, if caught not abiding to these laws.

  7. It’s not a new idea …….many local pubs have playgrounds for the kids and “kids eat free “offers………just because you go along to a pub for some lunch doesn’t mean you’re going to gamble……..we have had many family get together’s at a local pub…….Newport Arms to name just one…….the kids have a play while the adults enjoy a bite to eat in the sun……what’s wrong with that?

    2 REPLY
    • nothing wrong with it at all. You enjoy meal, kids have play together. We eat at pubs and i dont drink, smoke or gamble and im a grandma. What a boring life, might use some vouchers and spice my life up a bit. Take the grandkids.

    • I agree too. We often go to our local bowls club for a meal but never play the pokies. Went to lots of places like that when our kids were young because the food was good and reasonably priced and none of them gamble.

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