FRANKIE DeGROOT | News | CONTACT
From the foyer with its seashell-embedded terrazzo floor to the framed picture of the Pope overseeing the personnel at the sign-in desk; from the oversized light fixtures to the prominent ‘Catholic’ part of its name, it would be easy to forget you are not in some sort of futuristic cathedral; if it wasn’t for the constant jangling background noise of the hundreds of pokies.
But critics of the Betoota Catholic Club often wonder how these rows of noisy rent-munchers are compatible with the anti-gambling views of the Church’s number 1 pin-up boy, Jesus.
To find out whether management have simply not reached the part of the bible where Jesus clarifies his position on gambling yet, or if there is some sort of remote possibility that a church is behaving in an unethical manner, we embarked on a pilgrimage to the “Catho” and headed straight to the office of the Chairman of the Board. After dispensing with the usual formalities such as “Who are you?” and “How did you get past security?”, we were ready for some answers.
“Don’t forget that Jesus came from a different time and place” explained Chairman Cohen Packard.
“Jerusalem two thousand odd years ago didn’t have Blackjack or Roulette, although they were only about 400km from Giza so maybe they had Queen of the Nile. And even if Jesus didn’t play it, I reckon the excitement of getting 15 free spins from the 3 Pyramid feature would have changed his opinion real quick.”
“To be fair however, if Jesus came here we would probably have to ask him to leave because it would be too difficult to work out whether he had won a genuine jackpot or if it was some kind of “miracle”, which is of course prohibited by the Liquor & Gaming Authority”.
At this point security arrived and we were asked to leave, marking the first time anyone has ever been ejected from the sacred building without sinking too many sacramental Bundies or punching another parishioner.
Jesus was unavailable for comment.