Author Topic: AFL risks weakening strong clubs if pokies are banned: Kennett (Age)  (Read 189 times)

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AFL risks weakening strong clubs if they ban them from having pok-er machines, says Kennett

Jake Niall
The Age
10 Feb 2018

The AFL risks making strong clubs financially dependent on the league if the AFL decides to ban pok-er machines from the clubs, according to Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett.

Kennett, whose Hawks earn more money ($23.29 million) from pok-er machines than any other club, said that unless the AFL found replacement income for clubs that gave up pokies, they would probably have 18 ‘‘dependent’’ clubs, rather than Kennett’s estimate of 12 clubs that relied on extra AFL support.

Among Victorian clubs, there is a widespread view — based on conversations with the AFL — that the AFL has a long-term agenda of removing pok-er machines, as part of the AFL Commission’s socially responsible agenda.

But Kennett — often a thorn in the AFL’s side — warned of the consequences of removing pokies without a replacement revenue source.

‘‘The only way they can phase it out is two-fold,’’ said the Hawthorn president. ‘‘They can advocate changing the laws, of the states that allow them, because they are legal.

‘‘Secondly, they can, as part of the licence they offer to clubs, ban clubs from having pok-er machines. Then they will probably see there are 18 clubs that are mendicant to the AFL, because without a replacement source of income, the clubs that are financially independent could very quickly become dependent.

‘‘It could be any club. The question is — do you help the weaker clubs by destroying the stronger clubs? And I understand the social argument, but unless the AFL or the clubs can find replacement income, if you ban them ...’’

He said clubs that were independent financially were costing the AFL nothing, besides player payments.

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Re: AFL risks weakening strong clubs if pokies are banned: Kennett (Age)
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 07:51:14 PM »
The sad part about this garbage from Kennett is that he really means what he says.