The Croydon Hotel in Maroondah, Melbourne has been granted ten new pokie machines. Despite opposition from responsible gambling advocates in the area, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation decided that the addition of new pokies would be largely positive for Maroondah. This week, the VCGLR approved the addition of ten new pokies at the Croydon Hotel, bringing the venue’s total of games up to 105.
City council members argued that the new games would result in higher rates of problem gambling in Maroondah, but the gaming regulator disagreed. Commissioner Robert Kerr stated that the Maroondah community is not particularly vulnerable to problem gambling. As such, the addition of new pokies would not present a major problem to residents nor would it be likely to encourage players to gamble more.
Kerr also noted that the new games would offer additional financial benefits to the community. Ten new pokies would bring in $1.5 million in wagers every year, which would be used to fund various community programs. $15,000 in annual community grants will be provided to organisations across the city.
Profits from the pokie will also be used to fund the $6 million refurbishment of the hotel which will include the addition of a public meeting room. This is the second venue to be granted additional poker machines recently. The Shamrock Hotel in Bendigo was allowed to install another 20 pokies, the profits from which would be used to fund the renovation of the hotel.
Like the Croydon Hotel’s new pokies, the Shamrock’s new games were also opposed by city council members. In the end, it was decided that the city would benefit from the addition of new games. This is because the renovation of the hotel would bring in more tourism and generate more jobs locally.