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· Posted on
May 20, 2022

Hawthorn are definitely a happy team after banking serious cash from the $85 million sale of a Melbourne pub

The 'family' club is looking to move away from relying on income from pokies.

What's the key learning?

  • Australians lose $14 billion a year to the pokies, making it a lucrative industry.
  • Some professional sports clubs want to reduce their dependence on gambling-related income.

👉 Background: AFL club Hawthorn won their last grand final back in 2015, and we know generally teams earn the most revenue when they do well on the field. But the club also earns a lot of its revenue from gambling.

👉  What happened: Before COVID, pokies accounted for around 15% of the club's income and more than half of all the gambling machines run by the Hawks were in a hotel in Melbourne's outer west called WestWaters.

👉 What else: The WestWaters Hotel was just sold for a huge $85 million... which significantly winds down the Hawk's exposure to gambling revenue.

🔔 What's the key learning?

💡 Deals often happen when a perfect storm converges. The WestWaters sale saw two major trends to converge: sales of pubs exploding (over $2 billion was spent on pub real estate in 2021)... and professional sports clubs reducing their dependence on gambling-related income.

💡Investors like the gaming sector because Aussies lose $14 billion a year to the pokies... and making money off losses can be lucrative. So why are footy clubs moving away from the industry? For the exact same reason, but on the other side.

💡Since Hawthorn likes to be known as the 'family club', it's kinda hard to justify owning a pub that facilitates addictive gambling. And the result? Selling WestWaters brings home a whopping $85 million.

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