Tony Hay (20/10) feels sorry for Tattersalls executives for their burden of extracting wealth from the poor. To be fair, management is no doubt focused on extracting wealth from their richest customers - people much like themselves. At the very least, Tattersalls' Managing Director Duncan Fischer says he doesn't want money from problem gamblers (16/10). What does he mean? That if they could employ (for free) an army of bouncers with divine insight to exclude "problem gamblers" - they would? It's a nice sentiment to express publically, but ultimately hollow: we expect deeper thinking from our outcome-oriented business executives.
To give this statement teeth, Mr. Fischer should say "in an effort to stop taking millions of dollars from problem gamblers, we are willing to undertake measures that will, as a side effect, deny ourselves some revenue from our gamblers *without* a problem as well".
Inevitably, some people who cannot afford the fun of pokies are swept up in the promotional blitz. For the gambling industry to take responsibility for this, they will have to accept the frightening proposition that some non-problem gamblers will be similarly swept up in the reforms they must implement.
Perhaps we've misread that Tattersalls customer tracking scheme (14/10): was it actually a step towards responsible engagement with the community through identifying problem gambling and targeting messages appropriately? Maybe, but I doubt any gamblers received mail suggesting they take it easy for a couple of weeks.