North Melbourne Chief Says No Pokies is a Possibility
North Melbourne Club’s chief executive Carl Dilena insists that there are ways to end AFL clubs’ reliance on revenue from poker machines. North Melbourne is the only AFL club in Victoria without pokies after they made a decision to get rid of their gaming machines in 2008.
The nine other clubs in the state all have gaming machines and rely heavily on the $90 million in revenue they generate each year.
“The AFL is sitting with a lot of clubs with revenue generated from pokies and that probably eases the burden for the AFL overall in terms of the finances of the entire competition,” stated Dilena to The Herald Sun.
However, Dilena claims that removing the clubs’ need for revenue generated from gaming could be achieved by reducing inflation in club spending.
“If you can get the inflation in the industry under control, it takes the pressure off generating massive amounts of new revenue,” Dilena continued.
“So, there is an indirect tool in there for them to do it, and achieve it, and I think the clubs have bought into the concept of trying to get the club structure of the industry under control.”
Dilena explained how his club has managed to reduce their debt from $8 million to $1.5 million and they have had four consecutive profits by watching what they spend and by referencing all money to “return on strategic objectives or return on investment.”
The club got rid of their poker machines when they shut down an unprofitable venue at Etihad Stadium. The former CEO Eugene Arocca, decided not to get back into pokies, and despite opportunities to get back into them since then, they have not.
There has been pressure from many sides recently for the AFL to end their reliance on poker machine revenue.
April 16, 2017