Monday 28. December, 2015

Popular South Australian Pub Gets Rid of Pokies

The historic Willunga Pub at the Old Bush Inn in South Australia have got rid of all ten of their poker machines. The new owners, Gavin Collins and Christina Repetti announced they were removing the machines to create a more family-friendly atmosphere focused on dining and socialising.

The owners stated that they found that the machines often sat idle taking up valuable space for visitors who wanted a table to dine at, but who had to be turned away for lack of room.

“Pokies are declining and the cost of running them can often outweigh the revenue, especially when you only have ten machines,” said Ms Repetti.

The space will be renovated and turned into a dining area that can be enjoy by patrons who come to sample the food of head chef, Al Pettet, former sous chef at the Star of Greece.

“We’ve already turned the pub around significantly in the last year,” said Ms Repetti. “We recently lived in Melbourne for a couple of years, before coming home to SA, and we’ve seen great local pubs without pokies or TAB do really well.”

Another advantage of getting rid of the pokies, according to the owners, is the removal of machines that can lead to addiction and the local patrons of the pub seemed to agree as they broke out in applause when the machines were wheeled out.

“We’ve witnessed a lot of people disconnected from others sitting alone in the pokies; it’s just plain sad. It’s a great relief not to be contributing to or enabling that sort of social breakdown.”

Online and mobile gambling has contributed to a drop in pokies revenue for the State Government in the last year with $287 million going to taxes in 2014-15, $9 million less than predicted in the State budget.

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