SA-BEST WANTS TO BAN PRIVACY BREACHES BY POKIE PUBS

2 March 2018

SA-BEST leader Nick Xenophon is calling on SA’s Independent Gambling Authority to investigate pubs with pokies owned by Woolworths, along with other hotels and clubs, to see if they are breaching the privacy of gamblers by collecting personal information.

And he wants the law changed to prevent any such practice in future.

This follows revelations that Woolworths staff were secretly recording and sharing information sought from gamblers at their 400 venues to get them to spend more time and money there.

“The allegations are very disturbing. Staff spying on customers and celebrating the fact when gambling targets are met and plying them with rewards like drink cards so they can keep them on the machines and lose more money is disgraceful conduct,” Nick said.

“Collecting and sharing personal information like which football teams they follow, the times they attend and what they do for as living and then strike up conversations to keep them coming back is simply unacceptable. They are exploiting people’s weaknesses. We need to know whether it happened in SA.

“Predatory practices like these encourage addiction. From the information I’ve seen that has been revealed about these practices, there’s no mention about watching out for the welfare of the customer if they are problem gamblers.

“The SAHA is mounting a multi-million campaign against me and SA-BEST that is full of lies. 

“What I do want to know from Ian Horne, the CEO of the Australian Hotels Association, is if SA venues are also collecting private information from their customers and what they are doing with it.”

Nick said he would be writing to the Independent Gaming Authority to look into the allegations made by interstate whistle-blowers to see if the same unethical conduct was happening here as well.

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