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Move to cap Woolies' pokies defeated

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ADELAIDE, Nov 22 AAP

November 22 2012, 09:29AM

A majority of Woolworths shareholders have opposed a move to restrict the operation of poker machines by the supermarket giant.

More than 200 Woolworths shareholders, led by social activist group GetUp!, were seeking to impose limits on the more than 200,000 gaming machines operated by the retailer through its hotel business.

At an extraordinary general meeting in Adelaide on Thursday, more than 95 per cent of shareholders voted against GetUp!'s resolution.

Just 2.5 per cent of votes were in favour, with the remainder cast as open votes.

The resolution sought to impose one dollar betting limits and revenue limits of $120 an hour per machine.

It would also have limited Woolworths to operating gaming machines for a maximum of 18 hours a day.

The Woolworths board had urged shareholders to vote against the resolution.

"The debate today is around a motion that will apply only to Woolworths in isolation, without delivering a broader social benefit to the community who would continue to have access to unrestricted machines," chairman James Strong told the meeting before the vote.

"Woolworths is committed to being Australia's most responsible operator of hotels and gaming facilities.

"Our measures to promote responsible gambling are above and beyond that required by regulation and we take pride in being, we believe, a leader in promoting responsible gambling."