CLUBS QLD HITS BACK: pokies reform WILL hurt

A report by the Sunday Mail about of mandatory pre-commitment on Queensland clubs has ignored crucial data that confirms an expected decline in gaming profit of between 33% and 44%.

Page 15 of the report by Club Training Australia lists the impact of mandatory pre-commitment on venues of differing size.

The forecast impact shows that the adverse impact on clubs with 100 machines will be a 33% reduction and a 44% reduction for clubs with 280 machines.

Clubs QLD CEO Doug Flockhart said a reduction in gaming profit of between 33 and 44% will devastate local clubs.

“This report confirms many of the independently forecast impacts of Andrew Wilkie’s proposed pokie licence.

“Deutsche Bank, one of the world’s leading international banks, has predicted a drop in revenue of between 30 and 40%.

“Andrew Wilkie himself has admitted the fall in revenue could be as high as 40%.

“The Federal Government needs to commission a trial of this technology so that everyone can know whether mandatory pre-commitment will reduce problem gambling and what its impact will be on club and hotel income.

“The Productivity Commission has been calling for a trial for 15 months, yet Andrew Wilkie is continuing to demand that the Government support his experimental technology sight unseen.”

Author of the report Geoff Wohlsen of Club Training Australia said his paper was about moving forward and preparing for what will be the biggest challenge felt by community clubs yet.

“Some industry observers have said the impact will be 20% while others say up to 40%.

“Whether it’s 20 or 40%, when any sector of the business community has to deal with revenue impacts of this nature it spells financial pain and this will be the case for Queensland community clubs.”

Mr Flockhart said that Mr Wohlsen’s report was simply the opinion of one guest presenter.

“All presenters provided their own perspective which was not commissioned by Clubs Queensland or ClubsAustralia and no one presenter received fees to present at the seminar,” Mr Flockhart said.

“Clubs Queensland endorses the independent predictions of a 30 to 40% downturn in gaming revenue as calculated by the Deutsche Bank Report.”

“These calculations show exactly why a trial of mandatory pre-commitment technology must happen.”

ClubsAustralia CEO Anthony Ball has today communicated with Families Minister Jenny Macklin about the terms of a trial.

“If we can agree on the terms of a trial, Clubs Australia will take responsibility for locating willing venues. Already we have clubs in Canberra showing interest. The Federal Government must make clear to Andrew Wilkie that its support for mandatory pre-commitment is conditional on the technology being proved in a trial to reduce problem gambling,” Mr Ball said.

Mr Flockhart said he was disappointed with the Sunday Mail’s reporting and that the media relations guide that was presented at the seminar is a standard policy used by most organisations as media protocol.

“In no way does it say “stall journalists” as is claimed. It is simply about the appropriate spokesperson commenting on behalf of the organisation and it would be silly not to have a media protocol in place.”

ENDS

CONTACT: Rachel Bilsborough 

07 3252 0770 – 0407 634 077

X