Wed, Feb 26, 3:54pm by Mia Chapman
An Adelaide jeweller has been accused of preying on the vulnerable by offering to buy valuables, including gold teeth, at gambling venues where punters play the pokies.
The Standard reports that Hallmark Jewellers released an advertisement for its events, including one at a hotel and pokie venue, where it sought to buy “on the spot” gold jewellery, watches, gold nuggets, gold coins and even gold teeth.
South Australian Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas described the practice as “reprehensible” and “predatory behaviour” seeking to take advantage of those already in a vulnerable situation, which must be outlawed.
But Hallmark director Arther Perelman has hit back at the claims, saying items are only purchased by cheque and never cash.
“The Labor Party didn’t do their homework… we are a legitimate business,” Mr Perelman said.
“We do not loan, we do not lend, we do not pawn, we do not trade, we buy and we do not pay cash.”
Hallmark held one event in January at the Village Tavern at suburban Golden Grove, which was investigated by liquor and gambling authorities.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the investigation into the tavern event found it was held in a private room and not near the gaming area.
“The Village tavern does not appear to be in breach of its obligations under the codes of practice,” Ms Chapman said in response to opposition concerns.
The tavern declined to comment.
Mr Perelman was adamant his company had a clean slate and operated under a duty of care to staff and customers by not carrying large amounts of cash into venues.
“We are not guilty of anything.
“We have been doing this for 30 years and nobody said a word. It’s disappointing the Labor Party got it so wrong,” he said.
He said his company did not single out poker machine venues and conducted similar events wherever they could find space, including town halls and other community centres.
However, Mr Perelman conceded a line in Hallmark’s advertising, which offered “cash for gold jewellery”, was misleading.
Hallmark is intending to run similar events this week but details were taken down from its Facebook page following negative comments.
Mr Malinauskas said the opposition had drafted legislation to ban the sale of second-hand goods at licensed gaming venues.
It will introduce the private member’s bill, which includes fines of up to $35,000 for venues, to parliament next week.
— Samy Angel (@SamyAngel4o) February 24, 2020
Market research company Roy Morgan has published its Gambling Currency Report, revealing data that gambling on poker machines is declining.
The results of the report are based on a single source survey conducted by Roy Morgan after thorough face-to-face interviews with more than 1,000 Australian residents on a weekly basis in their homes.
Casino Guardian reported in January that according to the latest data by the market research company’s report, the Northern Territory remains the part of Australia that has the highest betting and poker machine participation rates among all Australian states and territories.
The highest scratchcard and lotteries participation rate has been reported in Western Australia.
As revealed in the Gambling Currency Report, the NT had the highest proportion of gamblers who preferred pokies.
A total of 23.6 per cent of the NT adult residents have wagered at a gambling machine in an average three-month period.
The states of Queensland and New South Wales followed with 14.9 per cent and 14.2 per cent participation rates respectively.
The poker machine participation rate in Tasmania was 13.5 per cent, 12.4 per cent in South Australia, 10.6 per cent in Victoria with just five per cent in WA.
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