The spread of poker machines across Australia has certainly been good
for the value of pubs that have them, which doesn’t make it surprising
that incumbent hotel owners have seen their wealth rocket.

Bruce Mathieson was the first pub owner to crack the BRW Rich List but the Crikey Revised Wealth (CRW) list continues to uncover names that BRW have missed and today we’ve got another:

Paul Irvin lives in Sydney’s exclusive Darling Point Rd and is one of
the nation’s largest private pub owners who has also managed to avoid
publicity.

The former chemist owns about nine large pubs in NSW which have hundreds of
poker machines, each which provide a net return of about $100,000 a
year. He knocked back an offer of more than $20 million for one of his
Sydney pubs a few years back.

Over the past three years he has been sensibly buying up pubs in
Queensland because of the Beattie Government’s bizarre rules that ban
supermarkets from selling liquor. The Fitzgibbon family’s sale of two
Brisbane pubs to Tom Hedley for $65 million a few days back just
confirms how buoyant the Queensland hotel market is now.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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