Pokie addiction is becoming increasingly lucrative to venues.
Pokie addiction is becoming increasingly lucrative to venues.

‘I’m not trying to sneak in pokies’

THE owner of a popular Gold Coast nightspot says he is not being "sneaky" in his bid to turn the venue into a hotel.

Super-venue Burleigh Pavilion is advertising a material change of use to become more than a restaurant.

The application has fuelled speculation on social media that the bar plans to bring in poker machines, extend trading hours to 2am and include live music.

Burleigh Pavilion has had huge crowds since its first week of trading. Photo: Glenn Hampson
Burleigh Pavilion has had huge crowds since its first week of trading. Photo: Glenn Hampson

The venue, which opened last month after an $11 million revamp, is already being investigated for allegedly breaching the Liquor Act following a party on New Year's Eve.

Cr Pauline Young chatting with owner Ben May and chef Guillaume Zika about plans for Burleigh Pavilion. Photo: Richard Gosling
Cr Pauline Young chatting with owner Ben May and chef Guillaume Zika about plans for Burleigh Pavilion. Photo: Richard Gosling

The bar, which is becoming known as The Pav, has also been involved in the ongoing debate about discarded cigarette butts in parks around Burleigh.

"I understand when something big comes in like this it ruffles feathers and I get it's not perfect for everyone," bar owner Ben May told the Bulletin yesterday.

Initial artist's impression of new Burleigh Pavilion before it was built
Initial artist's impression of new Burleigh Pavilion before it was built

However, the Sydney hotelier rejected claims he wanted to turn the venue into a fully fledged pub.

"It's not duplicitous, I'm not trying to sneak in pokies, I'm not trying to licence who whole thing, nothing changes," Mr May told the Bulletin.

"Basically it's an insurance policy to trade the way I've been trading.

An artist impression of what the beachfront building's Sydney-based owners Bob Magid and Ben May plan for Burleigh Pavilion before being built for $10m
An artist impression of what the beachfront building's Sydney-based owners Bob Magid and Ben May plan for Burleigh Pavilion before being built for $10m

"They're certainly happy with the way I've been trading, it was just a way to avoid that ambiguity."

Mr May said he did not want to change the current licenced hours of 6am-midnight Monday to Sunday, and the proposed changes only applied to the upper level of the building.

Mr May said the bar had been empty before his arrival and now employed about 150 people.

"I can't see how anyone could possibly think it was better before than it is now.

"I think we're doing really good things and providing a product a lot of people were wanting.

"I think council is happy that I delivered what I promised, a beautifully finished building. I think it's a really positive asset for Queensland."



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