By Annette Shailer

ClubsNSW has listed falls in petrol prices and interest rates as the catalysts behind a $40-million increase in gaming revenue in December compared to the same month last year.

The increase in discretionary spending has helped ClubsNSW make up some of the $500 million lost since the smoking ban commenced 19 months ago.

But independent senator Nick Xenophon pointed to the Federal Government’s economic stimulus package being pushed through poker machines as the source of the gaming revenue, the ABC reported.

ClubsNSW CEO, David Costello, refuted the allegation, saying it ignored several obvious factors.

“With gaming revenue down by 11 per cent for the year, it really was a case of the only way is up. For much of 2008 and 2007, people’s discretionary spending had been greatly reduced due to a huge rise in petrol prices and continuing increases in interest rates.

“Clubs are not for profit which means they spend their income in the community via employment, local businesses and community groups,” he said.
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The Shout Team

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