Taking the lead on reducing poker machines

Yacht Club is free of poker machines

The Canberra Southern Cross Club has announced that it will take the number of poker machines off the floor to 100 once the Government’s gaming reform package is enacted. As part of this initiative the Club will remove all its poker machines at the Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club, making it entirely free of poker machines.

Chief Executive Officer of the CSCC, Ian Mackay, said the decision to reduce the number of machines on the gaming floor “is a tangible expression of our support for gaming reform and the Government’s stated desire for Canberra’s community clubs to diversify their business models in ways which reduce their reliance on poker machine revenue.”

“We are determined to play our part in reducing poker machine numbers in line with the Government’s gaming reform agenda.

“We have strategies in place to diversify and streamline our operations to grow our revenue streams and the Club looks forward to working closely with Government and other stakeholders to assist in realizing these new revenue streams which can provide a strong community benefit.

“We agree with Government that Canberra has too many poker machines. While CSCC needs to ensure we cater for our Members that enjoy gaming in a safe and comfortable environment, we also want to demonstrate we are willing to play our part and not just sit back and wait.”

Mr Mackay said CSCC believes there are clear opportunities in making this move for the club.

“The Club obviously sees the risk to revenue but we also see opportunities. In particular, we are excited about transforming the Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club into a truly high quality venue befitting its absolute waterfront location. Taking the machines out will enable us to build a multi-purpose function space at what is a premium dining, event and entertainment destination.

“More broadly, we would also like to think it will help facilitate and accelerate non-gaming business diversification” he said.

“Canberra Southern Cross Club has recognised for some time that greater diversification is the way for us to ensure we remain relevant to our Members and the broader community, particularly in the provision of health and wellness services and family based hospitality. We hope it will also enable us to continue our support for smaller community clubs and organisations.”

“We have started the diversification process with our ventures into health and fitness. We have also recognised the need to move away from the old model of subsiding uneconomic venues and activities. Our major opportunity now is to develop the old Pitch and Putt site. Its proximity to the Woden Town Centre and Canberra Hospital is ideal for the creation of a health and wellness hub. Access issues to the site are proving problematic but we are hopeful the Government’s initiative of the Community Clubs Taskforce to assist in clearing roadblocks can help overcome this.”