2019 Financials

Bojangles17

Hall of Famer
May 17, 2004
30,865
32,419
AFL Club
Richmond
Getting more sponsors if you ditch gaming hadnt been proven. Not by Nort or anyone else. As for whats best for the community people should take individual responsibility for their actions. 95% of the community gamble responsibly 5% dont. Why should the majority miss out because a small minority dont know when to stop. By selling our licence it doesnt make a difference to the total number of machines. A new operator would just be taking the profits that would have gone to the RFC which would then invest those funds into things like our community programs. The business people would just take the money and stick it in their pockets.
I concur , whilst gambling is a legitimate industry , I don’t have a real gripe over any involvement. Alcohol is a far bigger social evil , are we gonna make a stand and distance ourselves from selling liquor or just act responsibly instead.
 

THE_GUN

Keep trying ...... SON
Dec 28, 2007
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I dont see what all the issue is about clubs owning machines ? Its not like these machines will disappear if we sell them just means another person will be taking the profits.

Gambling is here to stay and to stay in AFL as well as other sports , All the betting agencies that are on the adds and we are worried about a few machines.

Everybody owns a gaming machine ..................... Its called a smart phone
 

4tune8

Premiership Player
Jul 31, 2017
3,174
6,228
AFL Club
Richmond
I think that the NSW way of doing things originally is the way to go. Licences were only given to sporting clubs/organisations where the profits were used to provide better facilities etc. I have no problem with the Tigers (being a not for profit organisation) holding a licence and directing the profits to their varied cultural and sporting arms. What I do have a problem with is the organisations that operate gaming machines for their own benefit.
 

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Ned_Flanders

Premium Platinum
Aug 22, 2009
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I think that the NSW way of doing things originally is the way to go. Licences were only given to sporting clubs/organisations where the profits were used to provide better facilities etc. I have no problem with the Tigers (being a not for profit organisation) holding a licence and directing the profits to their varied cultural and sporting arms. What I do have a problem with is the organisations that operate gaming machines for their own benefit.
the social orgs (RSL's, migrant clubs, footy clubs) were allowed the lower tax treatment, but in return they were supposed to provide a "community benefit"

I has been tightened up, but at one stage one club spent their community benefit funds on ice baths, and another said "watching their team" was the community benefit

then you have the likes of Matheson leasing his machines to footy clubs (us/doggies and then the blues) to work around the tax loophole

victoria massively underestimated the potential for groups to rort this system
 

Meteoric Rise

All Australian
Feb 4, 2008
740
2,523
AFL Club
Richmond
I respect the different views on the gaming issue, and I can understand why people might argue that the gaming business should be retained by the club. But I feel strongly that RFC should distance itself from this income source. Further, I feel gaming machines should be outright banned for the reasons explained below.

For roughly 15 years I made a living as a punter specialising in cricket and at times Australian Rules. I paid for my property from the profits so obviously I was winning on a reasonable scale. With sports betting at that time I found(and proved) you could study the form and factors carefully, exercise wise bankroll management and make clear headed decisions in the heat of the battle and have a realistic chance of consistently returning profits.

So it is not betting I am against. So long as things are balanced in such a way that either the punter or the house can win, and understanding the house needs a margin even on a fair betting medium.

With gaming machines there is no way for the punter to win other than to be on the fortunate end of some short term variance. I have met people who are convinced there are ways of winning on them. And they and their families have suffered. Overall, and considered rationally there is no way of benefitting from using gaming machines.

I don’t want the club to profit from taking advantage of people’s weaknesses by entering into unfair gaming transactions with them. If someone else profits in place of RFC then I don’t want that to happen either, but I really don’t want my club to do it.
 

bananatigz

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 26, 2012
5,055
13,414
AFL Club
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I understand both sides of the argument and have for the most part been of the opinion that we might as well use it whilst it’s a legitimate income source.

I think I’ve changed my view now because a) we are no longer dependant financially on the profits to keep us afloat, club is going from strength to strength and AL should be able to cover whatever profits we had from the pokies as it continues to grow. b) we have clearly made a concerted effort to present ourself as a community leader with a range of different initiatives, and operating these machines seems to contradict that goal pretty strongly.

If other clubs are able to get out of gaming machines it really shouldn’t be a problem for us in our current position. They are truly insidious things as well, they prey on the vulnerable who can’t afford the losses.
 

NZ_Tiger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 30, 2011
6,584
12,826
AFL Club
Richmond
I understand both sides of the argument and have for the most part been of the opinion that we might as well use it whilst it’s a legitimate income source.

I think I’ve changed my view now because a) we are no longer dependant financially on the profits to keep us afloat, club is going from strength to strength and AL should be able to cover whatever profits we had from the pokies as it continues to grow. b) we have clearly made a concerted effort to present ourself as a community leader with a range of different initiatives, and operating these machines seems to contradict that goal pretty strongly.

If other clubs are able to get out of gaming machines it really shouldn’t be a problem for us in our current position. They are truly insidious things as well, they prey on the vulnerable who can’t afford the losses.
Aligned leisure is worth nothing to us so far and we are a long way from recouping what we tipped in. If it wasn’t for pokies this club would of folded, we would have never got out of debt and be in the position to post profits and win flags.

Personal responsibility is becoming a dirty word these days.


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Phar Ace

Premium Platinum
Feb 9, 2017
3,402
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I understand both sides of the argument and have for the most part been of the opinion that we might as well use it whilst it’s a legitimate income source.

I think I’ve changed my view now because a) we are no longer dependant financially on the profits to keep us afloat, club is going from strength to strength and AL should be able to cover whatever profits we had from the pokies as it continues to grow. b) we have clearly made a concerted effort to present ourself as a community leader with a range of different initiatives, and operating these machines seems to contradict that goal pretty strongly.

If other clubs are able to get out of gaming machines it really shouldn’t be a problem for us in our current position. They are truly insidious things as well, they prey on the vulnerable who can’t afford the losses.
Yep, poker machines are the dumbest form of losing money going around in the guise of gambling. I hope the Club rises above it
 

Meteoric Rise

All Australian
Feb 4, 2008
740
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Aligned leisure is worth nothing to us so far and we are a long way from recouping what we tipped in. If it wasn’t for pokies this club would of folded, we would have never got out of debt and be in the position to post profits and win flags.

Personal responsibility is becoming a dirty word these days.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I suppose most of us on the against side for gaming machine revenue would acknowledge the argument was different when the club was fighting for its survival and needing to wipe out debt. If I was struggling to survive otherwise I might also seek income from any source available. It is natural to choose to do what is required to survive.

Now with $24m in the bank and - for the moment at least, growing revenues - that survival argument for retaining poker machines is no longer applicable. Thus more of us are dropping off supporting their retention. You are essentially saying with your supporting argument in this post that we should retain gaming revenue for sentimental reasons because we would not have survived without it. Speaking for myself, it is not something I am ever going to be too nostalgic about. If I had to drink urine to survive I would, but I wouldn’t look back fondly upon it later or keep drinking it beyond the point I didn’t need it to survive. And yes I know this is not a perfect analogy, but it does illustrate our position quite vividly.

As for your statement about personal responsibility being a dirty “word” these days, I think most of us grumpy old men would agree with that observation. However, that is completely beside the point of whether RFC should derive revenue from something that amounts to unfair trading, and to the cost of not just those they trade with(the so called gamblers) but also their dependants etc.
 

Phar Ace

Premium Platinum
Feb 9, 2017
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I suppose most of us on the against side for gaming machine revenue would acknowledge the argument was different when the club was fighting for its survival and needing to wipe out debt. If I was struggling to survive otherwise I might also seek income from any source available. It is natural to choose to do what is required to survive.

Now with $24m in the bank and - for the moment at least, growing revenues - that survival argument for retaining poker machines is no longer applicable. Thus more of us are dropping off supporting their retention. You are essentially saying with your supporting argument in this post that we should retain gaming revenue for sentimental reasons because we would not have survived without it. Speaking for myself, it is not something I am ever going to be too nostalgic about. If I had to drink urine to survive I would, but I wouldn’t look back fondly upon it later or keep drinking it beyond the point I didn’t need it to survive. And yes I know this is not a perfect analogy, but it does illustrate our position quite vividly.

As for your statement about personal responsibility being a dirty “word” these days, I think most of us grumpy old men would agree with that observation. However, that is completely beside the point of whether RFC should derive revenue from something that amounts to unfair trading, and to the cost of not just those they trade with(the so called gamblers) but also their dependants etc.
If there were any other product that advertised itself along the lines that gambling does generally, they would be had up for misleading and deceptive conduct, in my humble view. Never once have I seen a promotion where the number of winners and losers are accurately depicted, let alone showing one loser at all, nor do the advertisements state what the real odds of winning and losing are - we are just TOLD, more recently, to gamble responsibly. And governments put their hand out for a take. When you consider all the science that is attributed to how a poker machine can 'encourage' repeat losses to that of some of less-educated and uneducated choices being made out there in an alcohol filled environment, it's not even close to a level playing field. It is manipulation, pure and simple. Government approved manipulation. Of course they approve it, they are part of it.

I'm all for freedom of choice and acceptance of responsibility, but these things really become very vague once a player is drugged with alcohol and whatever else, primed with sensory inducement and stimulated by the habit itself. And then we complain when the manifestation of this results in domestic abuse, child abuse, rape, burglary, assaults, suicide and who knows what else, out of stress, pressure, loss of esteem and feeling of complete desperation. If Richmond can choose to not be part of that through poker machine revenue, I will be very happy. I understand others don't feel this way, but once you investigate the cause and effects, it's hard to turn a blind eye.
 

DeLaCon

Debutant
Nov 15, 2019
52
206
AFL Club
Richmond
Im amazed that people want to see our club put at a massive financial disadvantage on the premise that we may get government or council revenue instead. Some people may not remember the dark days of the late 80s early 90s when were skint but I remember and they were terrible days for the club financially. All it takes is for us go through a few bad years on field and a recession to hit and our bank reserves will take a massive hit as membership would fall and people going to aligned leisures pools and gyms cut back on spending. With massive costs fixed in place we would find ourselves in trouble. Unfortunately Gaming provides us with some revenue diversification and gives us revenues and profits we need to keep richmond strong. The issue of problem gambling is an issue for government and social services not football clubs.
 

Meteoric Rise

All Australian
Feb 4, 2008
740
2,523
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If there were any other product that advertised itself along the lines that gambling does generally, they would be had up for misleading and deceptive conduct, in my humble view. Never once have I seen a promotion where the number of winners and losers are accurately depicted, let alone showing one loser at all, nor do the advertisements state what the real odds of winning and losing are - we are just TOLD, more recently, to gamble responsibly. And governments put their hand out for a take. When you consider all the science that is attributed to how a poker machine can 'encourage' repeat losses to that of some of less-educated and uneducated choices being made out there in an alcohol filled environment, it's not even close to a level playing field. It is manipulation, pure and simple. Government approved manipulation. Of course they approve it, they are part of it.

I'm all for freedom of choice and acceptance of responsibility, but these things really become very vague once a player is drugged with alcohol and whatever else, primed with sensory inducement and stimulated by the habit itself. And then we complain when the manifestation of this results in domestic abuse, child abuse, rape, burglary, assaults, suicide and who knows what else, out of stress, pressure, loss of esteem and feeling of complete desperation. If Richmond can choose to not be part of that through poker machine revenue, I will be very happy. I understand others don't feel this way, but once you investigate the cause and effects, it's hard to turn a blind eye.
Very, very well put.
 

The Goon

Premium Platinum
Aug 2, 2010
8,078
8,385
AFL Club
Richmond
the social orgs (RSL's, migrant clubs, footy clubs) were allowed the lower tax treatment, but in return they were supposed to provide a "community benefit"

I has been tightened up, but at one stage one club spent their community benefit funds on ice baths, and another said "watching their team" was the community benefit

then you have the likes of Matheson leasing his machines to footy clubs (us/doggies and then the blues) to work around the tax loophole

victoria massively underestimated the potential for groups to rort this system
100%
Even now it's pretty questionable. Go through the annual report of distributions for XYZ RSL Club and you'll see they're all XYZ Bridge Club, XYZ Lawn Bowls Club, XYZ Cricket Club, etc etc etc. Barely a genuine independent community organisation amongst them.
 

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Meteoric Rise

All Australian
Feb 4, 2008
740
2,523
AFL Club
Richmond
Im amazed that people want to see our club put at a massive financial disadvantage on the premise that we may get government or council revenue instead. Some people may not remember the dark days of the late 80s early 90s when were skint but I remember and they were terrible days for the club financially. All it takes is for us go through a few bad years on field and a recession to hit and our bank reserves will take a massive hit as membership would fall and people going to aligned leisures pools and gyms cut back on spending. With massive costs fixed in place we would find ourselves in trouble. Unfortunately Gaming provides us with some revenue diversification and gives us revenues and profits we need to keep richmond strong. The issue of problem gambling is an issue for government and social services not football clubs.
I’m pleased people are engaging on this topic on both sides of the argument.

I am not sure washing our hands of gaming puts the club at a massive financial disadvantage as you put it. It appears it would cost under $1m per year in profit. I think I read in the accounts our sponsors tip in $16m pa(happy to be corrected if wrong.) Not sure how much of that figure ends up as pure profit, but I would suggest this dwarfs gaming profits. So even a 5-10% increase in profit from sponsorships could possibly cover gaming profit losses. If I were a business looking to attach to a sporting organisation through sponsorship it would make a real difference to me if they derived income from sources of which I disapproved. So I assume there are others who might think this way and it may be feasible you would see an increase in sponsorship. Then as has been pointed out you have Government and semi-Government organisations who may also be more willing to support a club seen to be deriving profits only from ethical sources.*

I agree with you we need to anticipate potentially tougher times ahead and allow for that in our decision making. I am very familiar with this process at present though. I have quite suddenly lost a pretty tidy stream of income from a sole source. Now I have no income and am living off reserves. And tightening my belt in areas not related to my performance(say continue spending on good quality food and yoga classes, but cut Foxtel, do some work I previously paid tradesmen to do etc) Then eventually I will develop a new source of income and live to that income. And in a downturn a footy club can go through a similar process. It is not to be feared, just needs to be planned for.

Your last point is in my opinion partially correct and partially incorrect. Problem gambling very much IS an issue for government and social services because it is a problem. That does not exclude it from being an issue for all people and organisations to consider. An organisation like the RFC is now in a position to be quite influential in areas like this. The club has a high profile, lots of supporters who are by the day believing more and more in the football club, and for me it is fast approaching time for the club to nail its colours to the mast on this issue. I believe the club’s decision making has been so good and so much for the greater good under this current regime that the club will ditch the gaming income some time soon. :)



*I acknowledge there are about as many judgements on what is ethical or not as there are people on the planet.
 

Jack5

Team Captain
Sep 15, 2017
311
1,147
AFL Club
Richmond
I want the pokies gone. Everything the club is doing from a social perspective makes me proud, involvement in gaming does not. Yes, there would be a financial cost, but if we get rid of them its not like we just send them off to the tip. We sell them and get some capital back to invest in something else, offsetting, at least partially, the lost income. I just don't see how it aligns with the Richmond brand, and its not just a little bit off, it stands out like dogs balls.
 

TheUndertaker

The Phenom from Death Valley
Oct 2, 2008
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I want the pokies gone. Everything the club is doing from a social perspective makes me proud, involvement in gaming does not. Yes, there would be a financial cost, but if we get rid of them its not like we just send them off to the tip. We sell them and get some capital back to invest in something else, offsetting, at least partially, the lost income. I just don't see how it aligns with the Richmond brand, and its not just a little bit off, it stands out like dogs balls.
From the looks of it, we are becoming less reliant on them, increasing our investments elsewhere and soon we will be able to eliminate them.

Certainly no Collingwood style elimination of them, but remember, this board has worked 10 big years improving our financial position from 6 million in debt to 20 million in the bank.

We've gotta make sure we make good decisions that benefit the future of the club.
 

THE_GUN

Keep trying ...... SON
Dec 28, 2007
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Im all for getting rid of pokies but get rid of them for good and not just give it to others to take the profit.

20 Mil can dwindle away very quickly if not carefull and i dont ever want to see my club become reliant on handouts again

Keep until we can genuinely afford to get rid of them for good
 

Tiger Soze

Debutant
Nov 17, 2019
109
146
AFL Club
Richmond
I want the pokies gone. Everything the club is doing from a social perspective makes me proud, involvement in gaming does not. Yes, there would be a financial cost, but if we get rid of them its not like we just send them off to the tip. We sell them and get some capital back to invest in something else, offsetting, at least partially, the lost income. I just don't see how it aligns with the Richmond brand, and its not just a little bit off, it stands out like dogs balls.
The direction the club has been heading over the last number of years indicates the pokies will be gone in due course, I have little doubt about that.
I haven’t gone through the financials thoroughly but I have noticed we increased cash reserves by over $10m and prepayments of around $2m, that’s a $12m increase in the FY. Those numbers mean more it me than the $4.1m profit number.
 

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