The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) NSW has joined the call for more responsible reporting in the wake of a newspaper article on gaming revenue, claiming the public naming of venues put both staff and patrons at risk.

The NLG Hotel Group accused a daily tabloid of publishing raw, unqualified financial figures about one of its Sydney gaming venues earlier this week (Aug 3) and AHA NSW CEO Sally Fielke backed the pub group's claims in the below letter to the Daily Telegraph

"Dear Editor,

I refer to the article “Reeling in Big Profits: Hotels Have a Pokie Win” in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph.

For some time now it has been the AHA (NSW) position that blatantly naming hotels in such a way does nothing more than provide a blueprint for armed hold up activities and put at risk hotel patrons, staff and management.

Robberies of licensed premises are already of major concern to our Members and something we are working closely on with Police – an article like this does nothing to serve the public interest, it merely makes specific hotels targets for would-be thieves.

The safety of staff, management and patrons remains of vital importance to us. Whilst we appreciate that these types of stories will be run, your newspaper in the past has always taken the position of not specifically naming the venue. We ask that this safety protocol be maintained.

We also note that the article inaccurately reports gross turnover figures to make the “profits” look even bigger. Even the after tax figures quoted in the story are not in fact ‘after tax’ and do not include the fact that poker machine tax, company tax and a range of other taxes are paid on top of this.

There are also about 23,000 electronic gaming machines in NSW hotels, not the 98,000 figure quoted in the article. If invited to comment, we would have pointed these inaccuracies out to your journalist."


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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