A week late in responding (sorry, as i just saw this), but complimentary soft drink and coffee to pokies players has been going around for a few years now. Not sure when that started. I think thats wrong too. Gamers should pay from them, just like they do at the bar just around the corner.
And the term “VIP Lounges” on the signs outside Sydney Pubs is just another way of saying Pokies Rooms, as it’s illegal to mention the word “Pokies” in NSW. Hence the VIP Lounge / VIP Rooms / Gaming Rooms spotted around.
Comping players such things at casinos (let’s face it, that’s what a lot of the larger clubs are) has been a tactic since the dawn of time. Probably doubly so to keep the night owls there all the way to 4am.
And I guess, one starts getting into semantics about what is free, what is cheap (eg. one club near me used to do machine coffee for 1 bonus cent, instead of being limited free ones) and whatnot. (It’s like some cases I’ve seen about happy hours where “half price” was illegal but “49% off” was not, and nonsense like that. Can’t remember where I saw that once.)
@yellow_sock is correct in that the ubiquitous “VIP Lounge” name in NSW is to avoid the pokie mention… I guess my bigger gripe at pubs lately is the push to put in discreet entrances for pokie players that avoid the actual pub… which clubs can’t do so much as they have to check cards/sign people in.
Yeah I remember getting ‘free’ beers in Las Vegas as long as I stayed at the roulette table.
With the removal of the “VIP Lounge” signs in coming months from outside pubs, im sure there’ll be something else added to distinguish which side door to use for the pokies room. Different coloured doors? The “TAB Room”? Bigger Keno signage? There’ll be just other types of loopholes to say the word “pokies”…
I still want to know how they all came up with the same idea of “VIP Lounge” and why they all seem to use the same or very similar Chinese imagery (I know they are cash cows for casinos but surely they aren’t going to every random pub/club with pokies)?
Does Clubs NSW, Aristocrat or IGT provide them?
They probably get them through the Pubs & Clubs Association
If they’re going to crack down on it, make them call ir The Losers Lounge.
Given the names of pokie lounges can vary based on the group that runs them, I’d imagine the pokie companies would provide and customise them, possibly as part of the deal. They’d have all the 3D graphics that go into the machines already - and at night the LED animated signs are about as bright as the machine screens themselves @_@
Theyll probably get around the new rules somehow, maybe with a new name like the Lucky Lounge…
No, it must be Losers Lounge.
The TAB and keno is already generally integrated into whatever sports bar most have, which is out in the open more-or-less - I guess there is an argument of “impact” and the like there (like level of interactivity), among other things.
On the other hand, it’s a slightly curious dichotomy where, to take an example of a local near me, they’ll have to take down a VIP Lounge sign, but they’ll be able to keep a bigger “Bet Live” sign for the Tabcorp products. 🤷♂ I’m hardly a wowser for either [I think the media’s focus on the problem gambling side of it, although very valid, has lost the point of the very real issue of money laundering that started all this], merely noticing the curiosity of that inconsistency.
And yes, I agree, it seems a bit of a forlorn thing and I suspect it’ll depend, as usual, on the wording of the law and “whatever the Supreme or High Court [yeah, I expect a appeal further up] will tolerate”.
I think it will just be called Pokies Lounge with a big warning sign about problem gambling.