Illawarra pokies generate profit of $100 million

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
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In the past 6 months, Illawarra’s 4000 poker machines have generated over $100 million in profits.

The Illawarra Mercury reports that The Office of Liquor and Gaming has released its most recent 6 monthly report on the pokies “as part of the NSW Government’s commitment to transparency on gambling activity in local communities”.

The data shows the Wollongong local government area is the biggest money generator in the region when it comes to pokies revenue.

The Wollongong City Council generated $78 million in profit between December last year and May 2019.

Of this figure, Wollongong’s 37 clubs accounted for $58 million in profits from the 2463 poker machines in the LGA. Wollongong’s 29 hotels house 549 machines which made $20 million in profit.

Shellharbour’s clubs with 759 machines were responsible for adding $20 million to their bottom line. Kiama, with only 6 clubs, accounted for $4 million in profits from its 218 machines.

The most profitable pokies in Illawarra are at Shellharbour Workers Club which was also ranked the 47th club in the state in terms of net profit.

Wests Leagues Club at Unanderra (No54), Collegians Wollongong (No57) and Dapto Leagues Club (No68) were other Illawarra clubs that featured in the top 100.

Shellharbour Workers also was the highest in the region in relatin to profit per machine, coming in at No49, with Dapto Leagues (No55) and Collegians (No83) also making the top 100.

Illawarra’s most profitable hotel was Warrawong’s Open Hearth at ranked at No 198.

Of the more than 1300 hotels on the list, other hotels from the region included Shellharbour’s Central Hotel at No. 248, the Berkeley Hotel at No. 250 and the Corrimal Hotel at No. 254.

Numbers of pokies have decreased

The numbers of poker machines in Illawarra clubs has decreased when compared to the same six-month period a year earlier (December 2017 to May 2018) however but the hotels have picked up a few more over the same period.

Wollongong clubs had decreased its total machines by 59, with 2522 compared to 264 in the first half of 2019. In addition, it had a drop in profits while Shellharbour’s tally went down from 777 to 759 but made roughly the same amount of money.

Kiama’s clubs managed to increase profits by almost $400,000.

The pokies in Wollongong’s hotels increased by six, from 543 to 549 while the combined Shellharbour-Kiama tally rose by three from 170 to 173.

Poker machine profits in NSW pubs and clubs have climbed to $6.5 billion over the past year, and rival the GDP of countries such as Fiji, where bigger gains coming despite a fall in the number machines and venues.

The surge in profit is largely attributed to a boom in pubs. Greater Sydney hotels have raked in $1 billion of pokie profit in the six months to June, while clubs maintained a near $2 billion profit, according to the latest data released by Liquor & Gaming.

The windfall comes despite NSW government policies resulting in a removal of 506 machines from the clubs’ gambling floors and 42 from hotels in the past 12 months. The number of club gaming venues decreased by 16, and the number of hotel gaming venues fell by 74.

More than 1350 machines have been removed since June 2017, but profits from the remaining 91,000 machines have increased by 5.5 per cent.

The most profitable clubs in the state are Mounties in Mt Pritchard, Bankstown Sports Club and Dooleys in Lidcombe. The top pubs are Markets Hotel in Flemington, Cross Roads Hotel in Casula and El Cortez Hotel in Canley Heights.

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