Pokie reform has not gone exactly as planned. MP Andrew Wilkie worked hard to implement mandatory pre-commitment and The Greens hoped to impose $1 betting limits on all poker machines – but the Gillard government had its own ideas about reform. Now that the only semblance of gambling reform is a voluntary pre-commitment trial, anti-gambling groups are working on their own pokie reform tactics.
GetUp is one such organization, which has requested that Woolworths (a company that operates over 10 000 poker machines in Australia) impose $1 betting limits on all of its machines. Last month, the organization gained the support of 210 shareholders, requesting that an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) be held to discuss the potential of betting limits.
With a scheduled general meeting planned for November 2012, Woolworths did not believe that it would be productive or cost-effective to hold another meeting between now and then. As such, Woolworths challenged the request, taking the issue to the Federal Court.
Unfortunately for GetUp, the Federal Court saw the situation from Woolworth’s perspective. However, this does not mean that the EGM will not take place. Instead, it will take place at the same time as the scheduled meeting, so Woolworths can discuss betting limits along with the company’s other business.