Sunday 29. May, 2016

South Geelong Hotel Awaits City Approval Before Relocating Pokies

The South Geelong Valley Inn Hotel on Fyans Street is awaiting city approval for renovations before it can begin relocation of poker machines to the venue. Despite approval by the Victorian Council of Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) for the relocation of the machines, the plans cannot move forward until the city gives its approval.

The VCGLR granted approval for the owner of the hotel to relocated 29 gaming machines from the Barwon Heads Hotel to the Valley Inn Hotel. However, they are planning a $3 million renovation to the run-down venue and this has not yet been approved by the City of Greater Geelong.

The renovation will include a new gaming room and lounge and renovation of the venue’s courtyard, bistro and sports bar. However, neighbouring residents are opposing the plans, resulting in the delay from the city. Those who are objecting are pushing the city to reduce the number of poker machines in the area in an effort to combat problem gambling and feel the Valley Inn Hotel renovations and pokie relocation do not fit in with this wider goal.

According to figures published by the VCGLR, there are more than 1,365 poker machines across 26 venues in the Greater Geelong area and this represents both more poker machines and more venues than any other municipality in Victoria.

Punters lost more than $111 million on these machines in the 2014-15 financial year and $1.1 million of that was lost by punters at the Barwon Heads venue.

Residents of the area are able to officially lodge their objection or support of the plans by the end of the week and the hotel is still hoping to be approved for the renovations. The relocation of the machines will hinge on the decision made by the city.


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