RSL branded pokies venues

May 18, 2021

Australians lose more than $1 billion a year at RSL-branded pokies venues although only the Victorian RSLs actually own the pokies venues, with NSW and Queensland RSLs being separate. Here is a list of some of revenue figures disclosed.

Albury Soldiers Sailors and Airmens Club: operates 318 machines which generated $16 million of its $23.5 million in revenue in 2018. See p15 of annual report.

Burwood RSL: operates 294 poker machines but no annual report available. Presume pokies revenue exceed $20 million. Has been rebranded "Club Burwood". A distinct lack of diversity on the board. The actual Burwood RSL sub-branch generated a $291,000 surplus in 2019 and had net assets of $5.2 million which were mainly investments.

Cabra-Vale Diggers: $74 million in pokies revenue in 2018-19. See Daily Telegraph.

Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL: has 374 poker machines, no annual report online.

Castle Hill RSL: has 374 poker machines which generated "net clearances" of $33.4 million in 2019. See p23 of annual report.

Chatswood RSL: operates 280 poker machines but as usual the annual report doesn't disclose the actual pokies revenues. Yet another old, white, male board where each director pockets around $10,000 a year plus the usual expenses and perks.

Dee Why RSL: $40 million in annual pokies revenues in 2019 - see p18 of annual report.

Fairfield RSL: no annual report online but the parent club runs 332 poker machines. The associated City of Fairfield Memorial RSL Sub Branch told the ACNC that it generated $72,000 of investment income in 2019 and has assets of $850,000.

Hornsby RSL: has around 385 poker machines which extract approximately $20 million a year from gamblers.

North Ryde RSL: operates 310 poker machines which would be expected to generate more than $20 million of the $30 million of total revenues in a normal year. The 2020 financial report fails to break out the pokies revenue, although it does disclose that they pocketed $2.5 million of JobKeeper in 2020.

Rooty Hill RSL: owns 726 machines and extracts around $60 million a year from gamblers. Now rebranded to West HQ.

Seven Hills Toongabbie RSL: operates 300 poker machines but only has 411 sub-branch members. Generates a majority of its $36 million of revenue in a normal year from poker machines. No specific disclosure in the 2020 financial statements. Each director is paid more than $10,000 a year, plus the usual expenses. They pocketed JobKeeper despite having more than $50 million of cash in the bank.

Smithfield RSL: $30.6 million of its $34.3 million in revenue (see p29 of annual report) came from its 325 poker machines.

Victoria: a total of around $260 million is lost at 50 RSL pokies venues.