Australian Pokies Deal Triggers AFL Clubs Feud

Written by:
Greg Tingle
Published on:

Australia is passionate about footy (AFL and NRL), gambling and one may argue, vice, witness the ongoing success of TV smash hit 'Underbelly' and 'Sin City' expo.

Little wonder then when you throw into the ring a pokies auction, sweet deals for AFL clubs, politics, mates rates, historic bad blood and a touch of vice, you have on hell of a fight that's likely to the last man standing after 12 rounds. We learn some clubs have hit the jackpot on the decade in off-field plays. Media Man and Gambling911 down under crash tackle ringside with this report...

A number of Melbourne-based AFL footy clubs are engaged in a feud over the spoils of a multi-million-dollar bonanza to be reaped from the state government's recent auction of poker machine licences.

Various factions fight in a UFC almost no holds barred fashion for money, sweet deals and news headlines, seeking MVP status on and off the field, or should that be caged ring.

The long anticipated pokies auction in AFL centre of the universe, Melbourne, is understood to cemented financial futures of a bush tucker bag of many clubs after they snatched pokie licences at bargain basement prices. The Chasers 'Crazy Warehouse Guy' would have been proud.

The chatter we're getting back from the AFL and pokies circles indicates the Western Bulldogs and Richmond are none to please... ok, pissed off to the max, learning Carlton somewhat hijacked some of their key venues with Aussie land based pokies king and former Carlton top brass Bruce Mathieson pulling the strings in true puppet master execution.

The Blues have enjoyed an off field, pokies venue win, enjoying moving up the ladder of just one pokies venue to four, and insiders tipping over 250 pokie machines secured at only $5500 each. Pokies punters are known to "invest" hundreds of dollars per hour in search of jackpots, so the "one armed bandits' will pay for themselves in no time.

Media Man understands Mr Mathieson recently caned Richmond's long lease at the Royal Oak hotel in Richmond and the Bulldogs' lease at the Vic Inn at Hobson's Bay, with Carlton picking them up. Talk about a master 'art of war' maneuver.

The Blues will also pick up the Manningham Club in Bulleen and continue to gatekeeper pokies at Laverton.

Liberal party man and Richmond super fan - supporter Bernie Finn went on record to Fairfax Media "I think it's grossly unfair that one individual has the power to remove a major source of revenue from three AFL clubs and unilaterally direct it to just one."

Dog's top dog brass Campbell Rose not happy with "It's terribly disappointing to see our inner-heartland being taken away by the Bruce Mathieson organisation on behalf of one of our kindred clubs for their commercial benefit,".

The Bulldogs now have 55 machines, purchased at an average cost of $62,000 each.

Licences for Victoria's 27,500 pokies were sold due to the government's decision to stop the duopoly on licences (once controlled by Tattersall's and Tabcorp).

The well publicised auction raised a total of $981 million! Less than insiders expected. A number of clubs were over the moon getting 10-year licences for machines at only $5500 per unit.

Hawthorn was a big winner at the silent auction, having forked out the $5500 minimum for 100 odd OAB's (one armed bandits), with insiders tipping they would have been prepared to pay over $100,000 each if they had to.

Melbourne's board allocated $4 million for 92 machines at the Mathieson-owned Leighoak club...eventually paying only $370,000.

Clubs St Kilda, Collingwood, and Essendon purchased licences for 40 machines before the auction, paying in the $25k to $40k price bracket, before securing the deals on the pokies at auction for $5500 per pokie.

Collingwood's biz deal with Mr Mathieson at the Coach and Horses was also renewed.

Mr Mathieson was one of the keys outed former president John Elliott in the early 2000's.

All of the excitement with the deals was described by a jovial Media Man insider as "A bit of a mix between Sale Of The Century, Monopoly, The New Price Is Right, UFC Undisputed and Underbelly".

Readers, we look forward to delivering you more AFL, NRL, pokies and sports betting news Underbelly no holds barred style so stay clued to Gambling911. Happy hunting, good punting and keep it fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They also publish Australian Sports Entertainment  http://www.australiansportsentertainment.com


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