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Victorian AFL Clubs' Lucrative Affair with Pokie Machines: With Over $40 M in Earnings Last Year

Victorian AFL clubs have long been associated with various revenue-generating ventures, but their recent foray into Pokie Machine earnings has raised both eyebrows and concerns. Last financial year, four of these clubs collectively amassed a staggering $40m from Pokie Machines, leading to sharp criticism from various quarters.

Home / News / Victorian AFL Clubs’ Lucrative Affair with Pokie Machines: With Over $40 M in Earnings Last Year

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Carlton: A Pokie Machine Powerhouse

Carlton’s relationship with Pokie Machines is no secret in the AFL world. Last year, the club bagged a hefty $19.1m from its 290 machines spread across four venues. With an average earning of $65,954 per machine, one must ponder if the club’s dependency on these machines is becoming a crutch.

These figures highlight not just the club’s increasing reliance on Pokie Machine revenue, but also the vast sums involved in this business. The average revenue per machine is undoubtedly a testament to the popularity and profitability of these machines.

Other Clubs Riding the Pokie Machine Wave

Richmond, another powerhouse in the Victorian AFL league, hasn’t shied away from the Pokie Machine business either. The club earned $4.6m from 97 Pokie Machines at the Wantirna Club in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Each machine, on average, brought in $47,573.

St Kilda, with its 83 machines at the Moorabbin base, earned a respectable $1.8m. However, it was Essendon’s figures that stirred the pot the most. Drawing in $14.7m from 190 machines across two venues, the club has seen its highest earnings from Pokie Machines since 2007, according to the advocacy group “No Pokies at Essendon.”

The Ethical Dilemma

While these figures are undoubtedly impressive from a revenue standpoint, they come with their share of ethical questions. With Australia facing its own challenges with gambling addiction, the heavy reliance of prominent AFL clubs on Pokie Machine revenue has not sat well with many.

Harm reduction advocates argue that such dependency could indirectly promote gambling, especially among younger fans who idolise these clubs and their players. Fan groups, too, express concerns over their favourite clubs being funded by an industry known for its potential harm. It has also been reported that Australia is facing a record pokie losses situation, which further adds to the dilemma.

Future Implications for the AFL

The AFL, as the governing body, finds itself in a tight spot. While clubs have the autonomy to seek revenue streams, the association with Pokie Machines might necessitate the introduction of guidelines or regulations to ensure the sport’s integrity isn’t compromised.

Given the backlash from advocacy groups and fans, the coming months may witness a push for reforms in the AFL’s association with gambling.

While the $40m figure is a testament to the business acumen of these clubs, it also opens up a Pandora’s box of ethical, social, and regulatory questions. Only time will tell how the AFL and its clubs navigate these choppy waters.