Yesterday we published an article questioning why the convicted and twice jailed racing fraudster Wayne Francis Innes – who, when being sentenced for defrauding Racing Queensland of a six figure sum, made submissions in mitigation to being a gambling addict, which were true – was being allowed to openly gamble large sum of money with the TAB through it’s retail agency at the Aspley Central Tavern Hotel.
Well, hasn’t the response been swift, and isn’t it a scandal.
Today the bloke who took the photo that I published received notification from the Aspley Central Tavern that he – the photo taker – had ‘compromised the integrity of the TAB and of the tavern’ by taking the picture, and that he was now banned from the premises that he had been frequenting for years, for life.
I don’t even know this bloke. He took the photo as joke about Innes’ bald patch and sent it to a few of his (Innes) mates as a piss take. A few of them sent it to a few other people, and they sent it to a few more, and one of them sent it to me. There was nothing nefarious about it, and people take snaps on their phones every day, and some of them get published in the media. That’s life.
Just look at the two birds that crossed the border with COVID-19 whose photos have been splashed all over the front pages this week. Is the reporter who plucked them off their Facebook pages going to be banned from anywhere? Of course not. They will probably win an award.
Apparently the bloke has also been threatened with legal action by Innes mate whose back is turned to the camera, ‘Dirty’ Neville Brownlow, who I so dubbed because he had received a well publicised Environmental Protection Order from the government agency responsible for such health issues, ordering him to stop emitting noxious or offensive odours that might make people sick from his waste recycling premises at Yatala.
Now I’m sure anyone can understand why a respectable dump operator like Dirty Nev doesn’t want to be publicly associated with a twice jailed rip off merchant like Wayne Innes, but if Mr Brownlow is so keen to separate himself from the con, wouldn’t you think the easiest way might be not to go out drinking and punting with him on a Wednesday afternoon during working hours? It seems like a no-brainer to me.
The real issue here though is the Aspley Central Tavern’s approach to the issue of responsible gambling, it’s attitude toward harm minimisation, and the pub’s interpretation of the meaning of integrity.
This hotel – like many others around Queensland – is owned by the Eumundi Hotels Group, which is directed by three of the State’s most prominent businessmen in the form of Vern Wills, Joe Ganim and Gilberto De Luca, each of whom are highly reputable gentlemen with impeccable records of acting with the highest integrity in all of their business dealings.
I am sure that of these leading citizens would be absolutely appalled to know that the management of one of their pubs is hosting a convicted fraudster and thief in their establishment on most days of the week, and allowing him to plough thousands of dollars a day through their TAB terminal.
I can tell you for a fact that they don’t know, or didn’t until now, just as none of these three gentleman are aware that prior to Wayne Francis Innes most recent period of incarceration, a certain senior manager at the Aspley Central Tavern – who may, or may not, be related to Innes – was for a quite some time accepting cash cheques from the fraudster on a Saturday morning and depositing the said cheques, which were not made out in Innes name, directly into his TAB account for him to punt with.
Again I am sure that Messers Ganim, Wills and De Luca will be horrified to learn of this practice, which is direct contravention of their requirements of the hotel’s TAB licensing conditions, and has the potential to place their entire operations around the State at risk.
The whole thing is very easy to check.
Simply get the records of all transactions made through the Aspley Tavern on the UBET account of Wayne Francis Innes, and take a look at the deposits, and then reconcile them against the cash receipts for the day, and bingo! You’ve got him.
That’s integrity, isn’t it?
As for the TAB itself, I’d take London to a Brick on that HQ has no idea at all that the management of the Aspley Central Tavern are bandying the company’s name around in their malicious retributive attack on the poor 10 each way punter who took the Innes photo for a joke and had no idea that it was going to end up on my desk through a circuitous chain of chance.
I have to believe that, because the alternative – that the TAB is actively encouraging a compulsive gambler who has been twice jailed for crimes committed to feed his addiction – is totally unpalatable, because such an action has the potential to put their monopoly contract on running TAB’s in this state at risk.
All I can say is that I guess we will find out after the next Tabcorp meeting at the latest, because a number of the largest individual shareholders in the company are avid readers of these site and they, like the upright gentleman who run the Eumundi Hotels Group, play the game completely clean and do not abide with any of this sort of nonsense.
Foolish people often make rash decisions in haste, usually in a craven attempt to conceal their own exposure to risk for doing things that they shouldn’t do.
That’s what the Aspley Central Hotel management have done here.
Such decisions usually come back to bite them fairly and squarely on the arse.