Friday, 20 February 2009

Ballarat RSL pokie application should fail.

What if the whole basis of this application for 23 more pokies did not calculate? Should the application fail?. Yes.

The basis was by there being 6 less pokies in the City of Ballarat; the pokie losses in Ballarat would not increase. That's why the Ballarat RSL did not take on a transfer of all 29 of the Buninyong GC's pokies. My calculation is that moving these pokies to the Ballarat RSL will increase the pokie losses in the Ballarat with a potential to increase pokie losses a lot.

First, click on this scan of a schedule of actual pokie losses in Victorian Tattersall's clubs that was leaked to the Melbourne Herald Sun in early 2007. You'll need to click on the image to read it.

What it seems to prove is that the deletion of 6 pokies from the City of Ballarat does not fix the problem of moving 23 pokies from well off Buninyong to less well off central Ballarat. That's the core justification of this move and I think its unsustainable on the facts that are out in the public.

Bear with me for this calculation:

Bunninyong gamblers lost $169,000 on the club's 29 pokies over this 10 week period for a loss per machine of $5,828.

For the same period, Ballarat RSL gamblers lost $71,000 on the clubs 10 pokies for a loss per machine of $7,100.

Using this loss per pokie number of $7,100 per pokie, Ballarat RSL gamblers will lose $163,300. That's only a $5,700 difference.

What this does not account for is that where there are more pokies in a venue the losses go up. Have a look at the losses from the 50 pokies at the Ballarat Leagues Club which was $661,000 or $13,220 a pokie! The Ballarat Leagues Club take per pokie will be higher than the RSL (given the present state of the RSL building) but the RSL losses per pokie is going to go much higher than $7,100.00.

The outcome is that the City of Ballarat pokie problem is going to get worse if this move goes ahead. I have emailed the VCGR to take my calculation into account next Thursday when the Ballarat RSL's application is before them. They have up to date accurate numbers on the losses.

The application should fail.

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