By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
Outgoing Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder suggested that Coles is looking to introduce a limit of $1 spins to their gaming machines, and if it cannot, will reassess EGMs in their hotels.
In an interview with ABC’s The Business last week, Goyder stated that Wesfarmers had been looking to introduce a $1 spin limit to the EGMs within its hotels in Queensland – under the Spirits Hotel umbrella. Goyder said that Wesfarmers had written to gaming manufacturers asking them to make those changes in the technology, so that they could trial the $1 spin limit.
The CEO said they were waiting for a response from the gaming companies, and that both the Coles and Wesfarmers teams had been in contact with MPs Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie.
Before Wesfarmers purchased Coles, Coles had bought 77 hotels throughout Queensland so as to comply with state legislation that liquor could only be retailed through a hotel license. The $1 trial for EGMS within these hotels has now been discussed at the Wesfarmers board level.
ABC journalist Elysse Morgan pressed Goyder, asking if the trial did not happen, if Coles and Wesfarmers would consider removing the EGMs. Goyder did not rule out the possibility.
“It would be fair to say that we’ll look at all options. At the end of the day, we’re a good operator and an ethical operator of these businesses, and we should be allowed to adopt one-dollar spin limits in line with the productivity commission recommendations, which we think would reduce the harm that comes from one end of the pokie industry. That would be our preferred course, but if we can’t do that, we’ll look at other options.”
Both Coles and the Gaming Technologies Association declined to comment any further at this time.