Tweed pub facing hefty fine over free drinks for pokie players

A pub in the Tweed has been accused of illegally supplying pokie players with free alcohol in a bid to keep them gambling for longer.

Liquor & Gaming NSW has lodged a complaint against South Tweed Tavern at Tweed Heads South which is operated by the Woolworths-owned company ALH Group.

A complaint has also been lodged against Westower Tavern at West Ballina which is also owned by ALH, with Liquor & Gaming alleging the practice at both venues was “systemic”.


It follows a state-wide investigation into ALH pubs after allegations that they were engaged in illegal practices to entice people to gamble for longer.

The investigation was launched after former staff blew the lid on alleged practices at ALH venues.

The company had been accused of compiling personal details on gamblers, including drink choices, to try and prolong their gambling sessions.

Liquor & Gaming NSW has looked into more than 50 pubs across NSW with four of those coming in for special scrutiny, including the pubs at Tweed Heads South and West Ballina.

The other two were Sydney hotels but there wasn’t enough evidence to push ahead with a formal complaint.

The investigation included covert surveillance, coercive interviews of licensees, staff and other witnesses, review of CCTV, and examination of records and systems.

The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority will now look into the complaints.

Potential penalties include formal reprimands, fines up to $110,000 and suspension or cancellation of licences.