Sad time as end nears for Tote

IT IS the end of an era for The Tote in Launceston, as its manager prepares to shut the doors and take over the Westbury Hotel.

The Tote, next to Subway near the Morty's Food Hall, will close on May 28.

Manager John Dunk said it was a sad time for the betting business and his family, who had worked at The Tote for 2 1/2 years.

``We're a little bit sad,'' he said.

``We've come to know a lot of the punters . . . but the trend of TAB betting is declining.''

Mr Dunk said the internet had had a big impact on the decline as had the introduction of other betting companies like Supabets and Centrebet.

He said for many people it was more convenient to bet on the internet as they preferred privacy when placing a bet.

``The big punters have all gone home,'' he said.

He said the TAB had been trying to lease the building for some time and ``now they have found someone''.

It is understood the lease may have been granted to fast food chain Nando's, however the company did not respond to inquiries yesterday.

Mr Dunk will head back out to Westbury, where his family previously owned Dunkie's News & Food, to reopen the hotel that was shut by its previous owners three weeks ago.

He said he had big plans for the site, like bringing in more betting, jazz and blues afternoons and eventually a beer garden.

``We hope to open up as soon as everything goes through,'' Mr Dunk said.

The Dunks will continue to own and operate the Tobacco Station at Meadow Mews.

John Dunk and his daughter Amy at the Launceston Tote in Brisbane Street, which will close on May 28. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

John Dunk and his daughter Amy at the Launceston Tote in Brisbane Street, which will close on May 28. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

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