Sunday 19. June, 2016

Richmond Looking to Purchase Carlton Gaming Venue

Richmond Football Club (the Tigers) is exploring the option of acquiring one of the gaming venues owned by Carlton (the Blues). The Williamstown Victoria Inn with 60 poker machines is one of four gaming venues owned by the Blues.

If Richmond purchases this club, it will own two gaming venues, the other being The Wantirna Club which has 87 gaming machines. The other gaming venues owned by Carlton are Club Laverton, The Manningham Club in Bulleen and the Royal Oak in Richmond.

Both Richmond and Carlton have come under fire for their stance on gambling revenue recenty. Both clubs signed three-year sponsorship agreements with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation last year which prevents them from taking money from corporate betting agencies. Previously, Richmond had been sponsored by Sportsbet and Luxbet, while Carlton had been sponsored by Sportingbet and William Hill.

Despite this deal, both clubs have continued to operate pokie venues and collect revenue from the gaming machines. The Blues, in particular owns 290 machines, more than any other club in Victoria.

Carlton chief executive Steven Trigg brought up the situation at the time of the announcement, saying: “To call out the elephant in the room, there’s been a perception of Carlton over a long period of time in terms of its venues and it’s not incongruent, it’s totally congruent to take a responsible gambling position right across the club and we’re very pleased to be invited.”

Richmond was criticised over the VRGF deal, but even more so when it was discovered that they spent money set aside for the community on Ikon Park.

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said in comparing sports betting and pokies: “This is about promoting responsible gambling and gambling is a legitimate enterprise, whether it’s poker machines or gambling houses.”

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