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Politician Claims Poker Machine Players Are Being Spied On

Staff at Woolworths-owned pubs are being accused of profiling poker machine users in an effort to encourage them to stay longer and gamble more.

Federal MP and anti-pokies campaigner Andrew Wilkie says he's obtained screenshots of data being kept on gamblers, which is being shared on a Google drive file among the supermarket giant's 400 pubs.

The information indicates staff were being rewarded with gift vouchers for meeting betting targets and certain players were being induced to stay with drink cards and other promotions, Fairfax Media reported.

Mr Wilkie, a Tasmanian independent MP, intends to raise the issue in federal parliament on Wednesday.

"No company has the right to engage in behaviour designed to increase addiction," he told Fairfax.

It's estimated Woolworths owns around 12,000 poker machines across Australia via its majority shareholding of ALH, which owns around 400 pubs.

In the company’s annual reports it doesn't differentiate between revenue from pokies and other elements of its hospitality business.

Fairfax Media recently estimated that Woolworths' annual net revenue from poker machines to be at least $1.2 billion.

ALH is 75 per cent owned by Woolworths, and is run by Woolworths former boss Roger Corbett.

In a statement provided to Fairfax Media a spokesman for ALH said the company was "concerned" about the "gaming practices" revealed.

The spokesman said: "We have commenced an investigation to ascertain what occurred as we take our responsibilities in providing responsible service of gaming and alcohol most seriously." 

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