Extra pokies could bring in $1m

THE Goulburn Soldiers Club has lodged an application to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing to secure an additional 20 gaming machines.

A Local Impact Assessment report, prepared for the club by Lawler Partners HGM Pty Ltd, states that the “low range increase” will raise capacity to a total of 135 gaming machines.

This follows a successful application from the Workers Club for an additional 20 machines in July.

The Soldiers Club currently operates 115 gaming machines, which turned over more than $50,000 profit in 2011, according to the LIA report. Their gaming revenue for the year ending July 2012 was approximately $6 million, which represents 77.6 per cent of total revenue.

The extra 20 machines, if approved, will add an estimated $1m to gaming revenue in the first year.

This compares with the Worker’s Club, with 130 machines, which had a gaming revenue of $6.6m at the end of the 2012 financial year.

They also contributed $367,000 to the Community Development and Support Expenditure scheme (CDSE).

The total income from the Goulburn Railway Bowling Club’s 31 machines was just over $3m, and Goulburn Golf Club’s 19 pokies also generated $111,854 for the year ending June 30, 2012.

The Local Impact Assessment outlines that the Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area (LGA) has “a relatively old and relatively disadvantaged population,” with an average age of 41 and an average household income of only $981, significantly less than the state average of $1237.

Despite the low economic status of the LGA, the Local Impact Assessment report states that the approval of the gaming threshold increase will yield significant benefits for the area, in the form of a donation to a local nonfor- profit organisation.

The Soldiers Club has revealed plans to donate $105,000 over a three year period to Growing Abilities Goulburn Inc., upon approval of the application.

Growing Abilities Goulburn Inc. aims at supporting individuals who are excluded socially and from employment due to disability or disadvantage.

The organisation is currently in the early stages of establishing a horticultural enterprise in Ross Street, which will act as a supported employment service and nursery.

The donation of $35,000 annually for three years hopes to fund the employment of a coordinator for the Growing Abilities facility.

The application is open for public consultation, and closes on January 25. More information on how to have your say can be found at www.olgr.nsw.gov.au/gaming_lia_app_rpts.asp.

The Soldiers Club had not returned requests for comment at the time of publication.

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