Date: 2 August 2018
Queensland Clubs are not for sale
Clubs Queensland are shocked by the claim from the Minister for Tourism, The Hon Kate Jones MP, that any machines for a second casino on the Gold Coast would be sourced from the existing pool in the region.
‘Yesterday the Minister guaranteed there would be no addition to poker machine numbers on the Gold Coast,” said Doug Flockhart, CEO of Clubs Queensland.
“Now we’re being told the machines for a second casino would come from the existing allocations of pubs and clubs. This kind of language is what we have come to expect from the Minister on this issue of casino licences and poker machines.
“It seems to us that the Minister is more concerned with building monoliths for big business than building communities.”
There are currently 127 operational electronic gaming machine sites spread throughout the Gold Coast and a total of 5992 machine licences available. 5657 machine licenses are already accounted for.
“The only way for a casino to operate successfully on the Coast is to acquire a significant bank of gaming machine licenses. We are talking around 2000+ machines for any potential second casino operator.
“Gold Coast community clubs have some 3700 machines between them, spread the length and breadth of the Coast.
“The Minister is suggesting the only way for the casino to acquire a marketable parcel of machines is to buy them from clubs or pubs and I can tell you unequivocally, our Clubs are not for sale.”
Clubs Queensland is the peak body representing clubs in Queensland, which are all membership-based, not-for-profit organisations that exist to provide services to members and the local community.
“Queensland community clubs put back some $850 million into the local economies in cash and support,” Mr Flockhart said. “We are social enterprises and take our responsibilities to our communities very seriously. It is why we exist.
“Casinos are private businesses with profits going back to shareholders. Club profits go back into the communities in which they operate.
“I cannot believe that in this week, ironically Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, that the Minister is prepare to gamble with the future of the Gold Coast community like this. So many services rely on the support that our community clubs provide.
“Our independent research makes it very clear that more casinos in Queensland just isn’t sustainable. At least 30 community clubs on the Gold Coast are at high risk of closing if a new casino opens up. Similar scenes will be played out anywhere a new casino opens in Queensland.
“We have made it clear that there should be a moratorium on any decisions regarding new casinos for Queensland until we see what the impact of the Queens Wharf precinct has on the market.”
- Clubs in Queensland are membership-based, not-for-profit organisations that exist to provide services to members and the local community.
- There are over 1,100 community clubs in Queensland. Together, they hold 2.4 million memberships, employ over 22,000 people (with 9,000 based in regional Queensland), return over $850 million in social contributions and generate annual economic activity valued over $2.2 billion for the State’s economy.
- The surplus generated by clubs is used to deliver important and highly valued services in their surrounding communities and to visitors to their region. This support includes cash contributions, non-cash benefits, community assets and the mobilisation of volunteers.
- These are important community hubs for social interaction and engagement. Members have a shared sense of values and belonging and this strengthens the social fabric and promotes strong community cohesion.
CEO, Clubs Queensland
M: 0418 784 576
Communications & Government Relations Manager, Clubs Queensland
M: 0417 615 463