Collingwood are moving in a new direction after confirming the sale of their last remaining poker machines.
The AFL club has reached an agreement with Melbourne Racing Club to sell The Coach & Horses in Ringwood and The Club in Caroline Springs.
The clubs have a total of 156 poker machines combined and were the third-biggest pokies earner of all football clubs last year, earning a total of $12.245 million.
“This is a prudent commercial decision, one that will strengthen the Collingwood balance sheet significantly,” club president Eddie McGuire said.
“The forensic review of the entire Collingwood operation last year, and the ‘Forever’ blueprint which came out of it gave us greater clarity and a renewed sense of purpose but also identified numerous opportunities.
“The decision of the board to sell our gaming operation and some of our hospitality interests will allow us to intensify the focus on our core responsibilities – Collingwood fans, elite sporting performance and community – but also enable us to pursue new and different possibilities for growth,” he said.
Collingwood is in a strong financial position, with net assets of $32 million.
AFL commission chairman Richard Goyder has publicly spoken of his distaste for pokies and desire for clubs to move away from them as a source of revenue.
Collingwood will continue running its Glasshouse function and events business at the Holden Centre, where there is no gaming operation.