Sep 18, 2016

Petersham Bowlo’ celebrates 10 years pokie free

Petersham Bowling Club will this Saturday celebrate the ten year anniversary of its transformation into a ground breaking poker machine free club and live music venue.

The PBC Ball will also commemorate the Club’s 120th birthday, making it one of the oldest continuing community associations in the inner west.

Federal Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese hailed the Club’s successful turn away from poker machines and embrace of community led events and live performance.

“The success of the Petersham Bowlo’ shows what can be achieved when clubs prioritise music, community events and volunteerism instead of just relying on poker machines,” Anthony Albanese said.

“I congratulate all of the Club’s members, volunteers and supporters on the extraordinary transformation they have brought about.

“One of the inner west’s oldest institutions is now a modern community hub which local people feel ownership over.”

Mr Catsi said that a decade of hard work from local community members had paid off.

“Ten years ago local residents came together to say rather than handing the Club over to developers or turning it into a pokies den we wanted to remake the place as a music venue,” Mr Catsi said.

“We made the decision to remove the poker machines and make a stand against gambling.”

“The community board, all volunteers without experience running a venue, rallied the community to save the club.

“Ten years on, thanks to the hard work of community members we are now a vibrant, successful and musical venue and a role model for other small clubs.”



  • From 2004 – 2007 various proposals were put forward to develop the Club’s land for housing and other uses.
  • In 2006 a new board was elected vowing to protect the Club’s open space and take a stand against poker machines.
  • After initially operating with volunteers behind the bar, the PBC’s membership and patronage has increased and the Club is now one of the most popular and successful in the inner west.