Council report opposes extra pokies at Shamrock

AN additional 20 electronic gaming machines at Shamrock Hotel could be opposed, after a council report labelled them "detrimental to the municipality". 

A major redevelopment of the Hotel Shamrock relies on funding from new poker machines, owner Jim Hogan says.

He has applied to the Victorian Commission on Gambling Regulation for the extra machines, saying tax breaks and revenue created would be used to fund a $4 million development featuring nine five-star apartments.

However councillors have been recommended to oppose his proposal. 

If supported, the submission to the Victorian Commission on Gambling Regulation will argue that the overall net economic and social impact of the gaming proposal is detrimental to the municipality.

The additional 20 electronic gaming machines will bring the total number of machines at the venue to 65.

The city base its opposition on research and consultation, including an online survey where 86.4 per cent of respondents indicated they did not support additional electronic gaming machines at the Shamrock Hotel. 

The application is not supported by the City’s gaming policy, as the Shamrock Hotel is located in an area where additional gaming machines are prohibited.

The report describes gaming machines as “highly capital intensive” and adds the City does not support many jobs relative to revenue.

“The money spent in other sectors such as retail trade, food services and arts and recreational services would create more direct local jobs, and have considerable flow on benefits,” the report states.

M Hogan did not respond to the Bendigo Advertiser before deadline. 

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