ClubsNSW CEO fired for accusing state PM of following “Catholic gut”

Dominic Perrottet intends to introduce cashless gaming in New South Wales.
Dominic Perrottet intends to introduce cashless gaming in New South Wales.

Josh Landi has been sacked after claiming that New South Wales’ prime minister was basing the state’s gambling reform on his conservative religious beliefs.

Australia.- ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis has been dismissed from his position after making controversial remarks about New South Wales premier Dominic Perrottet. According to an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Landis accused Perrottet of pushing for gambling reform based on his “conservative Catholic gut.” 

The ClubsNSW board voted to dismiss Landis on Tuesday after opposition leader Chris Minns and independent MP Alex Greenwich called for his resignation. Minns said Landis’s comments had no place in NSW politics, while Perrottet called the comments “offensive” to people of faith. Greenwich said the decision to sack Landis was correct and that he looked forward to meaningful engagement on cashless gaming technology. 

Landis has issued a public apology. He made his comments amid an ongoing debate over gambling reforms ahead of the state election.

Earlier this week, ClubsNSW released a new code of conduct. The code includes measures to ban suspected criminals, social checks on poker machine players every three hours and measures to prevent problem gamblers from entering venues.

Staff will also receive training to detect signs of problematic gambling and each club will appoint a responsible gambling officer. Individuals implicated in money laundering will be banned for life. 

The code has received criticism from advocates for gambling reform. Tim Costello, head of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, considered the code as an admission of issues that the industry has neglected, while Green MP Cate Faehrmann considered it a weak and desperate attempt to appease the public and dodge regulation. 

NSW Council of Social Services acting chief executive Ben McAlpine said the proposal was insufficient and self-regulation was not going to resolve the problem of gambling.

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