Gaming performance has underpinned hospitality recovery in Queensland and NSW pubs, a new CBRE report has revealed.
Gaming in NSW has achieved pre-COVID levels since doors have reopened and Queensland saw an uplift in gaming revenue growth compared to 2019 over the July to August period.
The CBRE report, Thirsty For Business, provides an overview of the national pubs market and also compares key state markets and addresses the challenges facing the sector over the next 12 to 18 months.
Paul Fraser, CBRE Hotels Director and report co-author, said Queensland was expected to see a two-speed economy between metro and regional pub markets, with gaming continuing to perform strongly under challenging conditions.
“Pubs in metro Brisbane are experiencing softer trading conditions as CBD worker numbers remain low, with office occupancy levels sitting between 35% to 45% of pre-COVID levels,” he continued.
“Conversely, there has been a resurgence across key regional tourism markets such as Airlie Beach, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, with venue operators benefitting from a captive state market and displaced interstate travel.”
Gaming machine performance was particularly strong during the first two months following reopening, with revenues significantly higher compared to the previous year. Suburban gaming pubs appear to have been the greatest beneficiary of this trend.
“In NSW, non-gaming venues and traditional food and beverage outlets across Sydney and regional NSW will have to rely more so on tourists to spur future performance,” Fraser added.
He noted that Victorian operators, which had clearly been the hardest hit, were beginning to pivot from business continuity towards business reopening as the state government sets out a roadmap to reopen food and beverage and gaming venues.
Victorians are currently spending around 20% less than the national average as a result of the Stage 4 lockdown.
They are: Pictured main: Riverwood Inn
Pictured main: Riverwood Inn