40 former Australian pokies venues

July 30, 2023

This list tracks Australian properties which once had poker machines on them but don't any more. It is designed to be inspiration to the existing 5000 pokies venues across Australia. How can you get your site added to this list? Please email through other former sites to or via Twitter to @maynereport.

Bardon Bowls Club, Brisbane: removed the last of its poker machines in 2019. See local paper coverage.

Beach Hotel, Byron Bay: bought by the Liberman family's impact investments outfit which removed the 15 pokies in 2018 and later sold the pub for more than $100 million to a Moelis fund.

Bentleigh Club, Melbourne: was owned and operated for many years by the Melbourne Football Club which promised to remove the pokies when the licences expired in August 2022 and then sold the freehold to property developer Metro for $23.7 million in 2021

Buninyong Golf Club: a venue near Ballarat which proudly ditched its 29 poker machines in 2012. See local paper coverage.

Camperdown Bowling Club: became pokies free in 2014 but only after being taken over by a conglomerate pokies club called the Canterbury Hurlstone RSL. This is common in NSW and helps the big pokies clubs keep their social licence and eliminate competitors.

Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club: removed its 100 pokies in 2015 but they just went back into the broader Catholic Church pokies empire. Still, at least a prominent lakeside facility in Canberra went upmarket and pokies free.

Canberra Tennis Centre, Lyneham, ACT: was shocked to discover pokies in the clubhouse of this tennis venue on turning up to play in the Intervarsity tennis championship in 1989. They have long gone and it is now trading as Canberra Tennis World.

Carlisle Castle Hotel, Newtown: removed its 10 pokies to offer a more family friendly service in 2022. See this snippy account of the move in the AHA's online journal.

Club Swans: the pokies venue next to the Bourbon in Kings Cross was closed down by The Sydney Swans around the time of the GFC. The AFR's Joe Aston has some history.

Customs House Hotel, Williamstown: the City of Hobsons Bay in Melbourne's west might have pokies in a bowling club right next to its council chambers but the nearby Customs House Hotel ditched its pokies many years ago.

Daisey's, East Ringwood: was part of the Castella pokies empire until the venue sold to New Zealand aged care provider Ryman in 2020 which is proposing a $220 million facility.

Darwin Sailing Club: literally crushed its 10 pokies in a metal compacting machines in 2016 after members voted overwhelmingly to get rid of them. See coverage in the NT News.

Devonport RSL: has publicly committed to remove its 20 pokies by June 2023. See ABC coverage.

Duke of Enmore Hotel, Sydney: publican James Thorpe removed the 26 pokies when he bought this venue and The Old Fitz in Woolloomooloo a few years ago, as was explained in this SMH piece.

East Malvern RSL, Stonnington: a badly run venue with just 25 machines that Tabcorp finally removed in 2018 before a series of controversial round robin payments took place.

Frankston Football Club: removed its 27 pokies from the club-house in the heart of Frankston when the club effectively went broke in 2016. See Herald Sun coverage.

Kardinia Park: Geelong Football Club originally installed 100 machines at its famous home ground in the 1990s but removed them all when embarking on a $90 million redevelopment more than a decade ago.

The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney: featured in this Time Out piece about pokies free pubs in Sydney with a reference to its former pokie dive status.

Mapleton Public House: a historic pub located in the Sunshine Coast hinterland which decided to rip out its 6 pokies when new owners bought the venue in 2023. See ABC report.

Maroondah Sports Club: propped up the East Ringwood football club for many years but went broke in 2020 after COVID hit and then City of Maroondah nimbly snapped up some of the assets.

National Press Club, Canberra: finally removed a handful of poker machines after completing a renovation a few years back. If the journalists in Canberra can divest, why not the Labor Party, which is still running 4 pokies venues in the national capital.

Northcote Bowling Club:
was bought by Collingwood Football Club in the 1990s with the express purpose of making money from pokies but ended up losing money and eventually Tabaret took the machines away, as this history notes.

Noosa Yacht Club: received planning approval in September 2022 for a redesign which will remove its pokies room, as the club's architect explains here.

Oakleigh RSL, Melbourne: ditched its 16 pokies in 2009 and pivoted to being a live music venue as is explained in this excellent blog post by Tom Cummings.

The Old Bush Inn, Adelaide: The Advertiser reported that the popular pub in Adelaide's southern suburb of Willunga removed its poker machines in 2015.

The Old Fitzroy, Woolloomooloo: publican James Thorpe removed 26 pokies when he bought this venue and The Duke of Enmore a few years ago, as was explained in this SMH piece.

Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney: removed its pokies in 2007 and has been regularly lauded in the media for the move ever since.

Rialto Towers: built by the Grollos and co-owned for a long time by a Kuwaiti sovereign fund, St Martins. Was the site of the original Tabaret in the early 1990s but only lasted a few years as a pokies venue.

RACV Healesville: installed pokies on the lower level of its original country club but removed them and then completed a circa $80 million renovation more than a decade ago.

RACV City Club, Melboune CBD: the old RACV Queen St club had a few pokies installed but that site was sold and the new club at 501 Bourke St has never had pokies.

Sydney Wharves 12-13: the site of Star Entertainment's temporary casino for two years before its main Sydney venue opened in 1997. Wikipedia has the history.

Tathra Hotel, NSW South Coast: in 2015 Cliff Wallis and Sayaka Mihara purchased the hotel, which had 12 pokies which were removed during an 18 month renovation before it re-opened in November 2017. See pub history.

Torquay Golf Club, Victoria: located at the magnificent address of 1 Great Ocean Road. Was purchased by the RACV more than a decade ago and after delivering a $100m+ resort, the pokies were removed by Australia's richest remaining mutual.

Warrandyte Hotel, Melbourne: was the smallest pokies venue in Manningham and decided to exit in 2011 when City of Manningham imposed a double rate on pokies venues and the Victorian Government was moving to a new venue-owned model for licences. Pub is now the best in Manningham with great food and is a thriving community meeting place.

Wentworth Falls Country Club: the golf club in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney proudly ditched all its pokies in 2022. See local paper coverage.

World Bar Sydney, Kings Cross: removed its 15 pokies in 2015, spinning at the time in this AHA magazine article that it was trying to clean up the image of Kings Cross.

Yarra Valley Country Club, Bulleen: developed by the community in the early 1970s but somehow finished up in the hands of pokies billionaire Bruce Mathieson who shut the doors in 2022 as he pushes the Labor Government for a rezone to build 200 residences. The site abuts the Yarra River and Heide Gallery and is currently gated up.

Yowani Country Club, Canberra: the prestige golf club became pokies free in early 2023 after selling its 21 entitlements at $5000 a pop into the ACT Government's buyback scheme. See government announcement.

World Trade Centre, Melbourne CBD: the site of Crown's temporary Melbourne casino until its permanent facility opened in 1998.