In recent poker news, Raiders have come up as the biggest players in the poker machine business having purchased 60 out of 80 pokies that have been traded since September that marked the commencement of the government scheme.

However, under the ACT government scheme, 15 out of the 60 poker machines must be relinquished which leaves 45 poker machines adding to Raiders already 481. This has propelled the Raiders into position third in the new poker machine market, first being Tuggeranong Rugby Union Club with 704 new poker machines and Southern Cross Club which has 680 new poker machines. Raiders come in third and are now followed by Canberra Labor Club with 488 machines.

According to Access Canberra, the Raiders have already distributed the new machines across their various club locations including; Gungahlin with 18 machines, Belconnen with 15 and Weston with 12 machines. Raiders are only one of two clubs to invest in new machines since the scheme that started in September. Mawson Club is the other club in the new poker machine market having bought 20 machines and forced to forfeit five of them.

Of note is that there is only one seller in the new poker machine business namely, Tradesmen Union Club which is also associated with the energy and construction forestry mining industry. The Tradesmen have managed to sell 20 poker machines from their Woden branch and 60 from Dickson branch. This has reduced their stock from 540 machines to 460.

Tradesmen Union Club chief executive Rib Docker, refused to discuss the machine sales saying they are confidential. However, he did note that the new market was oversupplied with machines since the scheme started and he is very much looking forward to having 300 new poker machines stocked at the union’s store branches as opposed to 400. He asserted that the union was not actively trying to get rid of the new poker machines at the moment; however, they are open to ideas on how they can improve sales.

The ACT Government scheme which was set in September now allows various clubs to buy and sell new poker machines. This scheme was set up with the aim of reducing poker machines in circulation and in turn lowers the gambling numbers. It also aims at reducing overall numbers of poker machines with clubs being required to forfeit 1 in every four of their licensed machines. Another goal targeted by the scheme is to pave way for clubs and pubs to sell their old traditional poker machines which are then converted into more efficient and modern ones. However, no clubs or pubs have been noted to date as having sold their old poker machines.

This new trading scheme also aims to protect business owners from the outcomes of the new cap that is set to come to fruition in about 3 years. This new cap stipulates clubs to have 15 poker machines serving 1000 adults. Should this cap take effect, the government estimates that there will be a total of 4785 poker machines by the year 2018.

To assist clubs and pubs keep up with the new scheme, the government has allowed them to store any unused or old machines in storage. In the past, poker machines that were not being used were immediately forfeited. As of now, three clubs have already put up 29 machines in storage for one year while 118 poker machines are being stored for 1-3 years. The Raiders have put 18 poker machines in storage which could indicate a strategic move on their part to ensure business flexibility when the new cap takes effect in a few years.