Academy Award-winning actor and staunch Rabbitohs supporter, Russell Crowe, has succeeded in his campaign to remove more than a hundred slot machines from the premises of his of South Sydney Rugby league club. The “Gladiator” star and his business partner Peter Holmes a Court had been pushing the club’s members to remove the gambling machines, which they said were a “distraction” from the club’s real purpose.Despite the fact that the machines were contributing to a major percentage of the club’s annual revenue, the club’s board members on Thursday yielded to Crowe’s purpose and agreed to remove 160 “pokies” from the club.

Crowe and Holmes a Court had been pressing for the machines’ removal because of the negative social impact they were having.

In a letter to club members in September, the duo said, “We are not moralizing here, we just believe that low-income areas like Redfern need [fewer] poker machines rather than more. We believe a club can be successful if it caters for our members and the broad community; is a place where families can gather for conversation and good food; and the distracting din of pokies doesn’t stop the conversation or drown out live music.”

It is not for the first time that Crowe has taken an unconventional step for the betterment of the club. Earlier this year, he axed cheerleaders from the rugby league club and replaced the girls with a drumming band.
The club plans to cover A$1m in deficit by attracting new members.

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