By Annette Shailer and Ian Neubauer

Profits from poker machines in NSW pubs fell $231 million in the 2007-08 financial compared to the previous 12 months as a result of the introduction of smoking bans and the economic downturn.

Tabulated in the annual report of the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, the figure represents a 13.6 per cent reduction in profits and has cost the sector thousands of jobs. 

The report also showed 36 pubs that reported profits from poker machines in previous years reported no profit at all — a percentage of which can be attributed to the sale of poker machine licenses by rural pubs to venues in urban areas.

National Leisure and Gaming (NLG) felt less of a pinch than the average publican in the state. It owns two of NSW’s top five gaming venues and has seen a resurgence in gaming revenues in recent months. 

“The September quarter results confirm our position as one of the leading leisure and gaming groups in the country,” said NLG chief executive, Jolliffe said. “The results represent the successful implementation of our group gaming strategy, which has been very well managed by our designated gaming team who have engaged both venue staff and clientele alike.” 

And in related news, the Queensland Government has announced the introduction of new taxes for poker machines at all casinos in the state, effective July 1, 2009.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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