Pokies-free for a decade, North Melbourne has reiterated its hard-line stance against gambling revenue.
North Melbourne managing director and CEO Carl Dilena says the club’s community focus will always be at the fore.
“If we’re going to make a difference to people’s lives, it’s not compatible to be in pokies where we’re gaining from other people’s losses,” Dilena told the Herald Sun.
North exited the poker machine industry in 2008 and created The Huddle – an award winning not-for-profit community facility.
“It’s a conscious decision to run a pretty lean organisation and it was around that time we started looking at other opportunities and we began looking at the Hobart market to grow our supporter base and grow our membership base — it was a clear strategy,” Dilena added.
This year, other Victorian-based clubs have followed North’s lead.
“The connection between domestic violence and pokies is shockingly clear,” Tim Costello, of the Alliance for Gambling Reform said.
“There are no excuses any more to be involved with this product.”
AFL chairman Richard Goyder is also a critic of poker machines.
The Herald Sun reported more than $12 billion a year was lost to poker machines in Australia compared with almost $3 billion on horse racing and $921 million on sports betting.
Clubs with no pokies:
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
Clubs with pokies (annual revenue):
HAWTHORN - $24.3m
CARLTON – $18.4m
COLLINGWOOD – $13.2m
ESSENDON – $11.6m
MELBOURNE – $10.4m
GEELONG – $6.3m
WESTERN BULLDOGS – $6.1m
RICHMOND – $5.3m
ST KILDA – $2.09m
PORT ADELAIDE - Pokies losses unknown
BRISBANE - Pokies losses unknown