Pokies and The Trusts

The Trusts recently published an explainer about gaming machines at their venues – Gaming Machines – What’s The Real Deal?  It’s accurate but also omits some important information. We’ll try and paint the full picture.

How many gaming machines are there in Trusts venues?

The Trusts currently host 99 gaming machines in six of their ten bars: Te Atatu Tavern (18), Miss Q’s (18), Taphouse (18), Good Home (18), Bricklane (9), Workshop (18)

Four of their bars don’t host any pokies: Iti, Blacksalt, Mr Illingsworth, The Hangar

The Trusts proudly proclaim that “Since 2014 the number of gaming machines in our venues has reduced by 50%”. The Trusts have indeed closed or sold a number of venues which host pokies in recent years.

Some venues have been sold and are now being operated with restaurant-style alcohol licenses. These venues continue to host gaming machines (81) for The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd: Zoo Eatery & Lounge (18), Westside Grille (18), Hawaiian Sizzler (18), The Flagship (9), Richardsons Restaurant & Bar (18).  Elected members of The Trusts continue to make recommendations about the grants from these gaming machines.

Three Trusts venues have closed and the gaming machines (54) have been removed from the community. Origins (18), Western Lights (18), The Glen (18).

How much is gambled in Trusts venues?

Based on the 2018/19 venue payments made to The Trusts, we can estimate the following:

  • The turnover of gaming machines in Trusts venues is at least $112 million. That’s the amount that patrons gamble in the machines.
  • That generates $9m in ‘gaming machine proceeds’ – which goes to The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF Ltd). That’s the amount that patrons lose to the machines.
  • From those proceeds:
    • $1.25 million is paid to The Trusts (pokie rents)
    • $3.1 million is paid in taxes
    • $3.1 million is given in community grants (by TTCF Ltd following recommendations from the elected members of The Trusts)
    • $1.5 million covers TTCF Ltd’s costs

Overall, The Trusts hospitality business including food, drinks, accommodation (and the pokie rents) delivered $583,000 profit for The Trusts in 2018/19.