Pokies reliance a test for clubs

Club Sapphire is looking to diversify its revenue base to be less reliant on pokies.

Club Sapphire is looking to diversify its revenue base to be less reliant on pokies.

While the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s annual report shows a 3.9 per cent increase in turnover from Bega Valley gaming machines, local club managers say this number is not an accurate representation of what is happening. 

Club Sapphire CEO Damien Foley said in the 10 years up to 2014/2015 the combined gaming revenue of the four local clubs when Consumer Price Index adjusted has declined by approximately 27 per cent. 

“All clubs are being forced to seek to reduce their reliance on poker machines,” Mr Foley said. 

Club Bega general manager David Mitchell said he believes the revenue from poker machines has dropped significantly because of the influx of betting websites and apps like Sportsbet. He is looking at reducing the number of gaming machines, but is worried about proposed legislative changes. 

“The cost of becoming compliant would be too much and Club Bega would close, I have no doubt about that,” Mr Mitchell said.

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