Tasmanian club and pub pokies revenue: 0.9% to clubs, 48% to Farrell Group

A report released today by The Australia Institute Tasmania written by Dr Charles Livingstone from Monash University has found that The Farrell Group’s share of EGM revenue (47.8%) far exceeds that of the clubs that house many of the poker machines, with the Farrell family reaping fifty-four times more than that derived by clubs which took just 0.9%.

“The big winners from pokies in Tasmania are the Farrells, taking nearly half the net revenue,” Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Dr Charles Livingstone said.

“Clubs end up with less than 1% of the money that goes into the pokies. The Farrells take nearly half,” Livingstone said.

Leanne Minshull, the Director of The Australia Institute Tasmania commented on the report: “The clubs and hotels are not getting much, and neither is the taxpayer. The Farrells a reaping $19.4 million more than the Tasmanian government.”

Table A: Revenue share – Tasmanian EGMs in hotels and clubs 2016-17 

Industry segment

NGR post EGM tax etc

Share of total NGR

Hotel

$23,326,141

21.2%

Club

$970,686

0.9%

Farrell Group

$52,536,678

47.8%

Tax etc

$33,106,751

30.1%

Total

$109,940,256

100.0%

In Glenorchy, a lower socio-economic area, pokies make a total of $20,139,049. Of that, $10,301,667 (51.2%) is spent in Farrell Group’s four venues.

Dr Livingstone’s report used publicly available data (and data recently published by the ABC) to estimate these figures. Unlike Victorian authorities, Tasmanian authorities do not publicly disclose revenue at the venue level, asserting the necessity of protecting commercially sensitive information.

The revenue from EGM operations in Tasmania’s clubs and hotels is divided three ways: to Government, via taxes, a levy, and fees; to individual venues; and to Federal Group via its subsidiary Network Gaming.

The report also estimates the cost to the Tasmanian economy of gambling harm at over $341 million dollars per year. Most of this is borne by individual gamblers, their spouses, children, other family, friends, employers and other community members via crime and health costs.

“Gambling harm is not trivial. It includes domestic violence, other violent crime, theft, fraud, embezzlement and other crimes against property, neglect and abuse of children and other dependents, mental and physical ill-health, financial disaster, and suicide. Most of these harms are most strongly associated with poker machine gambling, because it is so readily accessible,” Livingstone said.

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