The alcohol and gambling regulator has allowed two suburban hotels to trade for no more than an additional four hours a week, after the owner of one of the hotels sought to extend trading hours by an extra 24 hours.
The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has partially approved applications to lengthen the trading hours of The Premier Hotel in Broadmeadow and the Gunyah Hotel in Belmont. The licence conditions do not endorse the 3am and 4am weeknight closing times proposed by the owners.
Iris Capital, hotelier and developer of Newcastle's East End, drew criticism from anti-gambling advocates in April for trying to create "a mini-casino" when the Newcastle Herald revealed the company had applied to delay the closing time of the Gunyah and Shaft Hotels' gaming rooms and lounge areas until 4am, Monday through Saturday. Iris Capital had also sought approval to place 13 more gambling machines in The Gunyah.
The ILGA has instead allowed the Gunyah to push back its closing time on Friday and Saturday to 1am.
The ILGA has permitted The Premier Hotel, owned by Thomas Hotel group, to continue trading for an additional two hours until 2am on Friday and Saturday. Its owner applied for the public bar, indoor and outdoor gaming areas, to stay open until 3am, Monday to Saturday.
A spokesperson for Liquor and Gaming NSW said explanations of the decisions were "still being drafted" by ILGA and would be published on online once complete. Iris Capital's applications to extend the opening hours of the Shaft's gaming areas, lounge areas, main bar and TAB, and to increase gambling machines at the Gunyah, are still being considered.
This month, The George Tavern in Green Hills was successful in its bid to change its trading hours from 5am to midnight to a 9am open and 1.30am close, Monday through Saturday. In the notification of its decision, the ILGA said it was satisfied "overall social impacts for granting the authorisation would not be detrimental to the well-being of the local and broader communities."
Iris Capital did not respond to a request for comment.