The Edgewater Club entertainment facility – which will generate revenues of about $1 million per year for the football club – will include 65 pokie machines and be developed at the centre of Edgewater, a swanky riverside estate about nine kilometres north-west of the CBD.
Council approval for the $25 million development will bolster the number of Victorian pokie machines controlled by Tattersalls, at the expense of gaming rival Tabcorp, which will have 48 machines it currently operates at the Whitten Oval in Footscray decommissioned.
Within hospitality sectors, the City of Maribyrnong and the City of Melbourne are considered the two “best earners” in regard to pokie revenues. Each adult in Maribyrnong loses an average $1,148 per annum on electronic gaming machines, compared to $406 per annum for Port Phillip residents, and $599 for those living in the Melton shire, according to research from Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (VCGR).
Chairman of the Edgewater Business and Networking Group (EBNG) Enzo De Fazio said residents were not aware of plans to build a large, licensed gaming venue at Edgewater when they bought into the estate, and were concerned about ill effects of social liquor consumption, and gambling.
Edgewater developer Delfin sold the Edgewater Club development site to Tattersalls in late 2006, rather than put it to public tender, where EBNG says a developer might have proposed something other than a gaming venue.
The number of pokie machines to be available at the Edgewater Club also needs to be approved by the VCGR.