Pokies behind Dolphins crisis


POKIES bankrupted the Frankston Football Club.

The Dolphins went into voluntary administration late last month as the club struggled under large debts and the administrators called in by the club have now confirmed most of the club’s debts are related to pokies machines licences.

Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants, administrators called in by the club, revealed at a creditors meeting last Wednesday (7 September) that the footy club owes the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation about $475,000 and $230,000 to Tabcorp.

Both debts are related to 27 electronic gaming machines the Dolphins decided to remove from its new $3.4 million function centre in May to make the venue pokies free.

Frankston Council is also owed $68,000 for unpaid rent, the administrator confirmed.

Worrells confirmed all debts, including unsecured debts, total about $1 million.

The administrator has tapped former Melbourne Storm CEO Ron Gauci, who comes to Frankston with a reputation for turning around troubled businesses, to help a possible restructure of the football club and its finances.

Mr Gauci helped turn around the NRL club when he was called in to assist in 2010 after the rugby club faced sanctions over salary cap breaches.

“Drawing on Mr Gauci’s expertise will give the Frankston Football Club the best possible chance of survival and assist in obtaining an outcome that is in the best interest of both the club and its creditors,” Mr Burness said.

Worrells says it will meet with club members, staff, players, sponsors, and those with functions booked at the club as soon as it is possible.

The administrator said it is working with AFL Victoria to try to ensure the club remains a VFL club.

First published in the Mornington News – 13 September 2016


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