Sports club wants 60 more pokies
BROTHERS Sports Club will be the pokie kings of Bundaberg if its application for an extra 60 poker machines is approved.
The club’s application would take the number of pokies at the club from 170 to 230 — nine more than its closest rival, The Waves, on 221.
Brothers Sports Club president John Byrne said the application for the extra pokies was made in September last year — before the state government extended the moratorium on hotel gaming machines by two years.
“Where we put them is a matter to be decided,” he said.
“There is so much indecision as to what is happening with the moratorium.”
Between January 1 and March 31 this year, more than $10 million was fed into poker machines in the area. In 2009, Bundy gamblers blew $40 million on pokies.
The Bundaberg Regional Council area currently has 1126 poker machines in operation, with licences for 1221 approved.
The moratorium means extra pokie applications for Bundaberg must come from within existing entitlements from other clubs or the pool of government entitlements in the region.
Bundaberg anti-poker machine campaigner Mary Walsh said she did not see how more gaming machines could benefit the area.
“We probably shouldn’t have as many in this community because we are a low-income, family-based community,” she said.
Mrs Walsh said between 6c and 7c in every dollar spent in taxes was sent back into the community.
“Our social fabric isn’t helped by the fact the large amount of tax paid by the owners of the machines is not paid back into the area,” she said.
CQUniversity senior lecturer Mark Rockloff has been studying the effects of problem gambling and said larger venues often had a detrimental effect on gamblers.
“When you gamble in a larger venues with more pokies around, it means you have a more intense experience such that people tend to gamble more aggressively,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation said the application would be decided by the independent Queensland Gaming Commission.
Biggest Pokie Venues
Across the Waves — 221
Brothers Sports Club — 170
Bundaberg RSL Club — 130
Western Suburbs Leagues Club — 50