POKIE FREE: Beach Hotel manager Marc Labonte encourages donations to The Buttery, as part of the hotel's event to celebrate going Pokies Free on the weekend.
POKIE FREE: Beach Hotel manager Marc Labonte encourages donations to The Buttery, as part of the hotel's event to celebrate going Pokies Free on the weekend. Melissa Gulbin

Beachie gives pokies the flick

THE shrill sound of pokies will be replaced by deep grooves and rattling donation jars at The Beach Hotel on the weekend as the pub's new owners, Impact Investment Group, and current operator, the van Haandel family, celebrate making the pub pokies free - for good.

In light of this decision, patrons will be encouraged to donate to the The Buttery's gambling treatment program, Northern Rivers Gambling Counselling Service, over the weekend.

Roots and reggae outfit OKA will be playing live on Saturday night, along with Andrew Stockdale, from Wolfmother, bringing their signature sounds to herald in the new pokies-free era.

IIG CEO, Daniel Madhavan, explained closing the door on the pokies was part of the group's goal to make The Beach Hotel a beacon of social responsibility.

He's said that gaming machines are so bad for individuals as well as communities because they're designed to be addictive.

The Buttery supports the group's vision to see governments around the country support pubs and clubs that transition away from an activity that is proving so harmful to individuals and families.

IIG is also working with the Van Haandels to reduce the pub's electricity grid consumption.

The new plans for the hotel have already attracted the interest of new partners and investors, according to Mr Madhavan.

The Pokies Free event will kick off at the Beach Hotel between 5pm and 9pm on Saturday March 3.

Donations to The Buttery can be made all weekend.

For those who can't make it, you can still donate at: www.buttery.org.au/ make-a-donation/.



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