By Clyde Mooney

A Victorian pub has been granted permission to double its gaming machines with authorities ruling that the area is not over-serviced.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling & Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) approved the application by Wodonga Holdings, operators of the Blazing Stump Hotel in Wodonga (pictured), to increase its allowance for electronic gaming machines (EGMs) from 20 to 40.

The application included a 'Social and Economic Impact Assessment' (Urbis P/L Dec 2011), 'Expenditure Report' (Progressive Venue Services Australia, Nov 2011) and a report on local tourism trends prepared by the City of Wodonga. 

In a decision handed down this month, the Commission found that the increased number of EGMs "will not result in a net detriment to the community of the municipal district".

It acknowledged that 60 machines will soon be removed from the pub's vicinity by the closure of the Albury Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Club, leaving only 124 EGMs operating in the locality before any increase at the Blazing Stump, which would not exceed the municipal limit of 259 EGMs.

Speaking to TheShout, General Manager of the Blazing Stump Phil Kelly said the pub is about to embark on its first major renovation since 1985, which will include a new gaming room.

"Part of this is to increase our gaming from 20 machines to 40. We have gotten commission approval, but we're still waiting on local council," Kelly said.

"This is a real growth corridor – there is plenty of new housing going in, and we are looking forward to a facility that can cope with expansion to trade over the next ten years."

The Commission noted that the hotel's renovation plans provided for the new gaming area to be separate from the bistro. It said the development would bring economic benefit to the area and the publican had agreed to increase contributions to community organisations.

The Shout Team

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *