Mon, Nov 19, 12:11pm by Staff Writer
Werribee Football Club has been successful in adding another 10 poker machines to its Tigers Clubhouse venue in Hoppers Crossing after gaining approval from Wyndham council.
The A$1.69 million redevelopment of the Werribee Football-club owned venue includes 10 new poker machines, a new storage area and courtyard and extension of the liquor license area.
The proposal was approved by four of the six available councillors last week after gaining approval for the new machines from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Regulation in May.
The club first flagged its intentions of adding more poker machines to its venue in February 2018 when it lodged an application with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to increase its poker machine numbers from 75 to 85 at the Old Geelong venue.
In its submission, Werribee Tigers chief executive Mark Penaluna said based on the club’s current cash flow, its financial contribution to the Chirnside Park redevelopment and loss of alignment with the North Melbourne Football Club, revenue generated by 10 addition poker machines would help to ensure the club remained viable.
@Joshuagilligan has been a champion at @WyndhamCouncil on pokies reform – looking forward to his comments at council tonight on the Werribee FC application for 10 more pokies. See earlier coverage https://t.co/Jq8Nu151mo
— Stephen Mayne (@MayneReport) October 2, 2018
Wyndham City Gambling Reference Advocacy Group chair Josh Gilligan said the council would submit a social and impact assessment to the commission.
Cr Gilligan said, “council is supportive of sporting clubs who recognise that gambling can cause significant harm to our community members.
“We are supportive of any club that may want to transition away from electronic gaming machines and would welcome any club or hotel to speak to us about their intent so we can provide assistance where possible.”
In October 2018, the Wyndham council knocked back plans to boost poker machine numbers at The Tigers Clubhouse.
Five of eight councillors at the time voted against the plan.
In a response to the vote at the time, Cr Gilligan told Star Weekly, “the latest gambling results … show that Wyndham is, on average, about 10 per cent higher than our record pokies losses of last year.”
Fellow councillor Intaj Khan implored the club to explore alternate avenues to raise revenue and that “revenue from these machines would not be appropriate for the wider community’s interest.”
Werribee Football Club completed a redevelopment of its home ground, known as Avalon Airport Oval.
The A$11.75 million redevelopment began in 2016 and was funded by the Wyndham council, the Werribee Football Club, the AFL, AFL victoria, the state government and federal government.
The front of the new pavilion features 498 seats, with a function room that can seat 180 people available for community use and event hire.
The ground played host to VFL and VFLW matches throughout the 2018 season as well as TAC Cup women’s matches.
The venue will host its first AFL JLT Community Series match as part of the 2019 AFL pre-season when North Melbourne hosts St Kilda on March 2.
The match will be the first of a double-header at the venue, with North Melbourne hosting Adelaide in its first ever AFLW match on March 3.
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