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Australian smoking ban costing clubs over $1m a day

9 December 2008

SYDNEY, Australia -- As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald: "The introduction of the indoor smoking ban last year cost clubs and pubs almost $1.7 million a day in poker machine revenue, cutting thousands of jobs in the industry and putting at risk future donations to charities and sporting groups.

"Poker machine revenue for pubs and clubs plummeted $616 million last financial year compared with the 12 months before the smoking ban, according to figures from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing. The trend is believed to have continued for many gaming establishments in the first five months of this financial year.

"When these losses are added to Star City Casino's 12 percent decline in poker machine revenue, the impact of the smoking ban on the state's gaming industry hits about $900 million.

"'As predicted, club gaming revenue fell off a cliff when the indoor smoking bans were introduced,'said the chief executive of Clubs NSW, David Costello.

"The result was the loss of 2100 jobs at clubs in the first 12 months of the ban, bringing the total workforce down to 43,300. This was despite club memberships reaching a record high..."

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