In 1990, a small group of community-minded leaders, led by Mr. Laurie Rudolph, initiated the idea of setting up a community club in anticipation of the legalisation of poker machines in Victoria. It was determined that if gaming machines were ever to be introduced to Horsham, it was in the best interests of the community that the profits be controlled and reinvested into the local area.
To bring the idea to life, financial resources were necessary. Consequently, a large number of invited locals gathered to discuss the idea of establishing a local facility. It was during this meeting that 40 people from Horsham and District agreed to provide an unsecured loan of $5,000 each, giving a starting capital of $200K to purchase a restaurant in Horsham.
The Horsham Sports and Community Club commenced operations in July 1990. Along with meals, the club provided entertainment in the form of live shows. Gaming machines were introduced 18 months later due to significant delays that resulted in major financial challenges resulting from loss of proposed revenue. (Initial budgets factored in 40 machines to be operational by October 1990). That the club was able to survive these early years is testament to management at the time.
Today, HSCC currently operates a 180 seat bistro, 35 seat Café/ Lounge, 50 seat function room and operates 83 gaming machines. The club is a well-established, independent not-for-profit organisation with a business philosophy still centred around supporting the local community.
Since 1992, over $3M in sponsorship from club profits has been directed to local sporting organisations, education-related projects, service clubs and individuals throughout the greater Horsham area, vindicating the vision and actions of Mr. Rudolph and the initial group of investors.