Time Essendon FC got rid of its Pokies licences

That’s what one club did, sold all its pokie licences to the VRC or some other racing body.
Perhaps that Director on our Board with racing connections could find a buyer.

They would.
I doubt that cancels out the revenue from Pokies.

The RMIT / EFC thing has only been going for a year, so that isn’t quite bearing fruit yet.
2020, 2021 & 2022 have been pretty stagnant for most businesses.

North Melbourne and Footscray have built community hubs, where they host after school youth programs…… and also share spaces with other not for profit services & universities. And unlike the Hanger, it’s actually utilised by the local community.

It’s not like they can have a pub & pokies on the same site as these services.

I know they have plans for Windy Hill, but moving the social club out of Windy hill will likely be problematic. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens there.

But the club did have a perfect opportunity to make the Hanger into a community hub…… and that just hasn’t happened. It’s very much a private facility.


The Hangar is not surrounded by densely packed suburban residences.
Also, because of its location near the airport, there are Defence restrictions on the development of surrounding land.
Could explain why PT is pretty much a daylight hours bus service with long periods in the timetable and not much at weekends.

I wouldn’t buy another business, it’s pretty simple to give the money to somebody else to invest and manage on your behalf.

The plan was to be an elite complex for the players; Windy Hill is to be developed into a Community Hub. I am not sure that “Community Hub” and elite sports training facility actually mix.

Even at a Community level in our town, many of the locals get very cranky about their grounds being developed by the local footy/cricket/soccer/baseball clubs for their own members use. And my experience is that these Clubs are often totally unreasonable in their demands, and just want more and more at the ratepayers expense.


this is where i stand

if we sell off our licenses, the pokies don’t disappear. they’ll still vacuum up paychecks, but just into someone else’s pocket. all we’d get is a fuzzy feel good because they’re out of our eyeline. it’d be like shipping homeless people out of the cbd into another town.

if we really wanted to have the moral high ground, we’d keep the licenses but not operate them.


Who is more addicted to pokies?

The Essendon Football club or the unfortunate gamblers who put their hard earned into the machines.

If you do not use them, you may lose them and still have to pay the Government each year.

least surprising thing i’ve learned today


I am one of them and I am not unfortunate. The programs in place at Melton Club are positive and supportive for problem gamblers. If you close Melton Club or put it in the hands of someone who just wants profit then I reckon these support programs will suffer and so will those with the problem. Melton has a number of other venues, like pubs and TabCorp Park, which are not as supporting.

I favour the approach that YourPlay takes and Cashless Pokies, so that there are always self-imposed limits on players. YourPlay is only in operation at Crown and soon to operate any gaming machine, it will need your Crwon Card that has a preset losing limit and playing time. Control is better than exclusion.

This is the sort of logic drug dealers use. “I know drugs cause harm, but if I stop dealing drugs someone else will just start, so I may as well at least make the money from them”.

I’m 100% with you. They are a blight. Footy clubs should not be involved in this.


remove pokies, remove gambling ads, if people still wanna throw their livelihoods away after than, then its their problem.

ahh stuff that, introduce pokies now pay later


Agree. There’s simply no benefit to shifting the profits from pokies away from the EFC who at the very least have a tangible public benefit to some other private company with no benefits at all other than to share holders/owners. Ban the bloody things by all means, they are the least fair form of gambling but until that happens I would much rather see football clubs own them than Woolworths or the Mathiesons’. I would like to see the club publicly display where the pokie profits go. The community work the club does for example, the trips done to remote communities, thats the 1st line of services that would suffer if we immediately exited pokies.


Thanks to those of you who have posted in support, especially @Preliminary_Point2 .

To those who have expressed differing views, I am grateful that the discussion has been a respectful one. We can differ in our views on this issue, but ultimately we are all grappling with what the best outcome is for the Club.

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Essendon’s issue is it doesn’t have a sustainable and sufficient non core business. Most other clubs do and it’s a critical part of their businesses. It insulated the business from poor on field periods.

Essendon can’t continue to be successful and invest in its football operations, facilities, Windy Hill etc on the back of its football operations. We currently have no money and rely on government subsidise to fund any upgrades.

From a purely financial perspective, a lot of small businesses sell for far less than the pure cash stream would indicate they would on a return on equity basis. I do not know if that applies to pokies.

So, the reality may be that even if sold, there would be a drop in revenues. Certainly if the plan is to get rid of them without selling the license there would be a huge drop in revenues.

Which begs the question, are members willing for the EFC to be financially much weaker to have them not involved in a legal but morally dubious business?

I’ve got to admit, while pokies are legal I’d be saying personally EFC should stay in them, while working to minimise harm and build alternate revenue streams.

But its hard to build alternate revenue streams when we’re employing 9 assistant coaches at members’ behest to try and win a premiership. You either invest or spend the money, you can’t do both (well, unless the government gives you a tonne of support).


thats probably correct, except they are running a dangerous line, given its illegal activity, and pokies, currently are not.

Its a bit like ESG Investing. Then when Coal started making huge profits everyone wants in.
And if you get the ASX 200 ETF, you likely own some anyway.

I would rather the club go out on a limb and say no gambling adds during EFC games, would be much more impactful than handing over pokies to someone else, and a bit of a slap in face to AFL, and see if other clubs would follow suit. (would take a reduction in the AFL $$ from betting chq)