The ALH Group, which operates over 330 licensed venues across Australia, has responded to a report in Fairfax Media which alleges pub staff recorded personal information in order to be able to encourage gamblers to stay in venues longer.
The Fairfax report alleges that a Google drive was shared among the ALH pub network and claims that staff are rewarded with gift vouchers when betting targets are reached or broken and also claims to show notes taken by staff to record what actions they took to encourage gamers to stay on site.
The information reportedly came from a former staff member of the Woolworths-owned group, and was shared with Fairfax and MP Andrew Wilkie.
In responding to the report ALH has said that it takes its responsible gambling responsibilities very seriously and that it has notified the independent regulator and will provide it with any possible assistance.
“ALH takes its obligations for the Responsible Service of Gaming (RSG) and the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) in all its venues extremely seriously,” the group said in a statement.
“Our industry and operations are robustly regulated by independent authorities in each state and our compliance with all laws and regulations is not negotiable.
“ALH must put its customers’ interests first. There is a line which must be respected between legitimate customer service and loyalty initiatives that are part and parcel of every hospitality business and the requirements of the RSG and RSA codes.
“If there are instances where that line has been crossed ALH is committed to taking the necessary steps to rectify any breach and address any non-compliant behaviour.
“To this end we have notified the independent regulator in Queensland where the matters canvassed today originated in mid-2017 and stand ready to provide any assistance or information if the regulator requires.
“Further, in 2017 ALH engaged the Responsible Gambling Council of Canada to conduct a full audit of our responsible gambling programs and operations across our venues. ALH will expand the scope of the RGC Canada audit to include matters raised today and will give everyone the opportunity to contribute.”