Ah, everybody loves a good scandal and it doesn’t get much better than when somebody is seen to act like a hypocrite. Tim Freedman, lead singer of The Whitlams, who claims to be a staunch anti-pokies campaigner has been caught out playing at a number of pokies venues, including two casinos, for his upcoming solo tour despite numerous alternatives available.
Freedman has been a well known outspoken critic of the gaming machines. The Whitlams hit Blow Up the Pokies was written about a friend of Freedmans who suffered a gambling addiction and subsequently committed suicide.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Freedman’s choices of venues will have him playing amongst 1503 pokies machines across just five venues. Cameron Provost, the CEO of Orange Ex-Services Club where Freedman will be playing told the newspaper that he was somewhat confused by the booking.
“I was quite surprised and found it a little bit hypocritical to be so critical about gaming and have his venue here at the club when there are two other (non-pokies) venues,” he said.
Just last month Freedman came out in support of the proposed pokies reforms saying in an interview “For those of us that have seen the damage [pokies] do, the reform is a very reasonable initiative. I’m astounded by the money and organisation behind the opposition to it.”
Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball agrees saying “It’s more than just a bit hypocritical for Tim Freedman to lecture clubs on poker machines every time he needs to promote an album while at the same time performing at pubs, clubs and even casinos.”
“Tim would be aware that when he sings at clubs and pubs, the facilities he is using, right down to the stage he sings on, is paid for by gaming revenue. Live music in pubs and clubs is a $1 billion industry, with more than $250 million going directly to the artists each year.”
What do you think? Is playing in a pokies venue hypocritical if you are known as an anti-pokies campaigner? Vote in our poll and tell us what you think.