Tuesday 1. March, 2016

Four Canberra Clubs Sell Off Their Pokie Machines

Four of the nine clubs in Canberra have sold their old-style poker machines citing lack of profitability as the main reason for getting rid of them. The clubs sold the machines to two of the largest clubs in the city who will convert the licenses to significantly more modern and profitable machines.

The Viking’s Rugby Union Club, the city’s owner of the most pokie machines, has bought eleven new machines, bringing their total up to 715. They make about $35,000 before tax on each machine per annum. The Raiders bought two additional machines, making them the owners of 528 machines. They make about $40,000 per annum per machine.

Moby Dick’s Tavern said that their two machines only brought in around $4,400 each in the last year. The owner, Darcy Henry, said that the machines were obsolete and that the rules giving pubs exclusive rights to modern machines were “lousy” with lots of paperwork required and little pay-off. They sold their machines for about $18,000 each.

Allyson Wedrat, owner of the Wood Duck Inn said that their two machines only brought in about $110 each in the past year. She said that the machines were a significant paperwork burden and were essentially useless to her.

Hotels and pubs in the ACT are banned from buying new machines; however, a trading scheme introduced by the ACT government last year allows clubs to buy and sell machines between them. The scheme also phases out the old-style Class B machines allowing clubs that buy them to upgrade them to Class C machines.

Since the trading scheme began in August, 116 machines have changed hands with one in every four forfeited according to the law, in a move to reduce the overall number of machines over time.


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