A report on the front page of The Canberra Times on this day in 1976 found the introduction of poker machines into ACT clubs had had a dramatic effect on the Queanbeyan Leagues Club, whose poker-machine takings had dropped by about $2,000 a day since early November, according to club officials.
The secretary of the club, Fred Land, said yesterday that the figure could be as high as $3,000 a day by Christmas and that the club's board of directors was considering "a number of options to meet this increasing threat to its existence".
Mr Land's gloomy analysis of the club's situation seemed to have been borne out by a number of ACT clubs, which reported increased business and people "standing in queues" for the recently introduced machines. A spokesman for the Canberra Club, which had 26 machines, said.
"The club has been a lot busier," Bert Atkinson, assistant manager of the Canberra Workmen's Club, which had nine machines with three more on order, said.
"There are not enough machines to serve the people who want to use them," Warren Whipelo bar manager of the Eastlake Football Club, which had 12 machines, said. "Ours haven't stopped going".
The situation is one that concerned officials at the Queanbeyan Leagues Club for some time.
About 80 per cent of the club's membership consisted of ACT residents, who had traditionally driven over the border to take advantage of the club's poker machines.