Wednesday 29. June, 2016

Collingwood Applies for More Pokies After Claim of Wanting to Go Pokies-Free

Collingwood has come under fire after applying for a licence to operate additional poker machines at the same time as telling Melbourne City Council they wanted their club to go pokie-free. The club has applied to increase the number of pokies at their Coach and Horses Hotel Ringwood gaming venue from to 90, from their current 80 machines.

On Tuesday night, Melbourne City Council members voted in favour of a 10-year deal with Collingwood that would give them limited access to the club’s new Holden Centre facilities. The $3 million deal was unanimously approved. Part of the deal required the club to commit to reduce their reliability on poker machine revenue.

“Collingwood needs to come clean about its intentions,” said anti-gambling activist and chairman of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Rev Tim Costello. “It is totally hypocritical of Collingwood to be publically claiming it wants to dump the pokies while it is secretly trying to buy more.”

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation confirmed it received the application for more pokies from Collingwood on Monday, despite the management report for Tuesday’s council meeting regarding the pokie issue, reading: “CFC has indicated a commitment to working with council in good faith and collaborative spirit to explore all options on this issue.”

The management report continued: “The club [Collingwood] will continue to investigate ways to reduce its reliance on hotel revenue and has a medium to long term (5 to 10 years) aim to replace gaming revenue with new revenue streams.”

Councillor Stephen Mayne, who suggested what became known as the AFL pokies motion called Collingwood’s actions “very disappointing.” He said that the deal has not yet been signed off on and councillors would have an opportunity to review all the details before they did.

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