Clubland feeds the gaming habit
By Heath Aston, Daily Telegraph
Friday 11 April 2008
A CLUB in a neighbourhood that the Government deems a problem gambling
area is planning a $12 million development that includes two extensive
outdoor gaming areas.
Cabra-Vale Diggers Club in Sydney's southwest is the latest to put its
hand up for an alfresco pokie area in an attempt to recoup losses from
the new indoor smoking laws.
A number of nearby clubs, including Canterbury Leagues, Liverpool
Catholic Club and Mounties Club are already trialling outdoor pokies.
Cabra-Vale falls into the Fairfield district, which was pin-pointed by
the Government in the recent gaming review as being a high-density
gaming area that should have the number of poker machines limited.
On top of the alfresco renovation, the Diggers have put in a request
for 34 extra machines to bring its total up to about 450, but The Daily
Telegraph understands the club is unlikely to have their request
Shopkeepers and residents in the Canley Vale area are worried about
even more pokies in their area.
"We already have too many poker machines here," neighbouring
Tuyet Yen Nguyen said.
"I have women coming in here complaining to me that their husbands are
spending all day at the club, spending all their money."
Cabra-Vale Diggers chief executive Bill O'Brien said the $12 million
was to catering for smokers.
"Over the past few months, our smoking members, of which there are
plenty, have made it clear that without an outdoor gaming area, they
will continue to stay away," he said.
"So the club has resolved to build two alfresco areas for smokers."
Fairfield councillor Thang Ngo told The Daily Telegraph poker machines
were "milking the community dry" and said he had written to the Office
of Liquor, Racing and Gaming to oppose any new machines in the area.
"We lose more on pokies than any other area," he said.