Tuesday 3. May, 2016

Additional Pokies Approved for Cobram Hotel in Victoria

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) has approved the operation of twelve additional electronic gaming machines at the Cobram Hotel in North-East Victoria.

An application was made by Third Bekkah Pty Ltd to amend the venue’s license to allow them to increase the number of poker machines at the venue in Terminus Street in the Shire of Moira from 38 to 50.

A public hearing was held on the 7th April, 2016 at the VCGLR in Richmond. While the hearing was open to the public, community members in attendance were not permitted to speak. There was no opposition to the application from Moira Council and the application was approved.

The commission heard that the installation of the additional 12 machines would permit the continued restoration and redevelopment of the venue and that additional jobs would be created from the additional machines. There are currently 37 permanent part-time positions and this number would jump by nine to twelve additional jobs during busy periods.

The commission considered the impact that the additional machines would have on problem gambling in the area and found the risk to be low, despite the fact that in the previous three years, the amount lost on poker machines in Cobram rose.

From 2012 to 2015, the losses on poker machines at Cobram Hotel rose from $1,373,550 to $1,685,568. The average losses by punters at Cobram Hotel every month in 2015 amounted to $161,198. In the whole of Cobram, people lost, on average, $103 per day. In 2014-15, the Victorian government collected taxes of $1.817 billion, with 59 percent coming from electronic gaming machines.

The hotel committed to doubling its contribution to community groups for the additional poker machines.

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