Russell Crowe Wins Bid To Ban Poker Machines....

Oscar winner Russell Crowe has won a bid to ban gaming machines from the Australian rugby league club he took over last year (06).The Gladiator star and his business partner, Peter Holmes a Court, secured victory in a vote at the South Sydney league club in Redfern, Sydney on Thursday (20Dec07).The pair wanted to remove 60 of the so-called "pokie" machines, which rake in $1.7 million (#850,000)-a-year, and aim to cover any fall in revenue by attracting new members.In a letter they say, "We are not moralising here, we just believe that low-income areas like Redfern need less 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".Crowe teamed up with Holmes a Court in March 2006 to buy a 75 per cent stake in the National Rugby League team for $2.2 million (#1.1 million).