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Raiders gobbling up West Belco Leagues – Smoking kills the pokie stars?

By johnboy 13 January 2009 52

The ABC reports that the West Belconnen Leagues Club is telling its members the only hope of survival is flogging their poker machine licences to the Raiders.

Apparently the smoking ban is forcing punters to step outside periodically, at which point they often decide to do something other than stuff their money into the bandits.

Disaster ensues for the club.

How the Raiders will run the club more sustainably is something of a mystery.

Is there a market for an all-weather poker machine suitable for operation in beer gardens?

What’s Your opinion?

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52 Responses to
Raiders gobbling up West Belco Leagues – Smoking kills the pokie stars?
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Thumper 1:54 pm 28 Jan 09

The problem with WBLC is that it is mind numbingly boring.

FFS, the live music they have there is about as interesting as elevator music.

Real bands equal real people. Half arsed sequenced duos are a joke. No wonder nobody goes there and they are going broke.

Ex Warrior 1:50 pm 28 Jan 09

The trouble West Belconnen is in is the fault of poor management and nothing else. The Board need to get rid of him and approach a lender with a fresh approach to trading there way out of the mess that Penca got the joint into. The Vikings Board did it and now its Westies turn.

Will the Board stand up and act in the best interests of the members who voted them in??????

Nambucco Deliria 9:38 am 15 Jan 09

I disagree. Vikings in Erindale is full of seedy pokie players and elderly drinkers – a much nicer blend.

Thumper 8:09 am 15 Jan 09

These clubs have become the preserve of the elderly pokie players and the seedy drinkers

Sadly, yes…

Ags 1:14 am 15 Jan 09

I used to go to Westies but it has gone down hill. The food is rubbish and the lady that calls the raffles should hand the Mic over to some one else. Pokies dont pay anymore either.

I can only say great things about Mapies. The food is tasty and you get service with a smile.

Granny 10:49 pm 14 Jan 09

Not to mention the unruly trivia fanatics!

sepi 10:10 pm 14 Jan 09

Southern Cross used to have the right idea – cheap reel to reel movies (where you could get drinks at the bar while they were on), expansive lounge areas with comfy seats, live music in the background, free pool tables, cheap cocktails, cheap exercise classes etc etc.

The Dickson Tradies also used to be good for a get together, but is now a homogenous expanse of cheap plastic seats and rows of pokies.

These clubs have become the preserve of the elderly pokie players and the seedy drinkers.

Genie 7:52 pm 14 Jan 09

Again with my whole hate of WBLC… Last time I was there the Manly/NZ NRL semi final was on.. They refused to even turn up the TV so me and my mates could listen.

Another group watching the AFL replay on a different tv also complained as they were refused to allow their tv to be turned up aswell..

I still stand that WBLC dont care about the people who come into the club, and who cares if they need a bail out… it will probably be for the good.

Tempestas 7:51 pm 14 Jan 09

At the risk of stating the obvious and adding little in way of content.

There is this funny word I keep hearing/seeing in the tech world its called “innovation” Apparently in that world you need to innovate or you will die.

Given we are talking about clubs here on a website maybe there is something in that. Perhaps the clubs that are failing have failed to innovate. I know that like a lot of others here, pokies are a non interest, as is smoking inside, (or at all), in fact pokies and smokiness turn me away.

I know that like others before me here I don’t know what will get the punters back, but its certainly not whining about how hard it is without indoor smoking. I’m betting that if there was some innovation somewhere it might get plugged here and we might even venture out and have a look. The live music industry has always survived in some form by just such a set of informal networks

That clubs in the ACT can’t turn a profit is no ones fault but their own. If they thought a bit of lobbying was going to perpetually delay the smoking bans and create an ongoing business, they were hardly investing in their own future.

As has been said elsewhere, the best thing about recessions or global downturns is that all the really below average and sub-par businesses get to fail.

There are a lot of business in the hospitality industry in this town that once they are gone, no-one will miss. The good ones, will prosper.

I’d suggest this is exactly what will happen to clubs. If its important to you, join get on the board and change ’em. I’m happy to wait until clubs can work out how to make themselves a place I want to go to.

Meanwhile I, like you, can probably be found here more often than near a pokie machine.

smeeagain 7:46 pm 14 Jan 09

Ainslie footy Club has absolutely overloaded itself with poker machines. They have reduced the size of the sports bar to a few tables, which are surrounded by pokies.

The lounge area is surrounded by pokies and has so many uncomfortable little tub chairs jammed into it that if you did try to play pool on the tables in there, you would definitely hit someone in the back of the head with your cue. You can’t pull your chair out from your table without hitting the person sitting at the next table. A personal conversation? Forget it. Even if you could hear what was being said to you, it wouldn’t be personal as the next table may as well be in your lap!

There is nowhere in the club except the restaurant that you can sit without being assaulted by the pokies. And really, who wants to sit in the restaurant if they’re not eating? Even if you do sit in the lounge (where there are a number of large screens all on different sports) you can’t hear anything anyway as the pokies are up so loud.

I hate what they have done there. Pokies do have volume controls but despite requests, they don’t turn them down. The sound of machines playing tunes apparently lures all the brain dead coin feeders to them.

God forbid that you try to keep the rest of your clientele happy. I, for one, have stopped going there.

p1 4:01 pm 14 Jan 09

The only good thing about pokies is that there income subsidises the cost of my beer. The only good thing about the “live music” (two singers with backing track) is that it lures some people away from the pokies for a while.

Mr Evil 2:36 pm 14 Jan 09

Thumper said :

Modern Rock or Pop would no doubt alienate the older generation, but then old time dance hall stuff would presumably drive the young punks out?

Which is why you get sequenced duos boring the life out of everyone with mouldie oldie FM, Solid Gold Hits of 1972 to 1974. Nothing to exciting, think Eagles on Prozac…


Sounds like a job for (cue – booming voice) “Karaoke Man”!

Welcome to the Hotel Caliiifornia…….

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