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Pub baron Peter de Angelis loses pokies battle

High profile Sydney hotelier Peter de Angelis has failed in his bid to open a poker machine venue, close to a public school and next door to an aged care home.

The Land and Environment Court has rejected the plan for a 500-patron pub with free shuttle bus.

The court ruled that it was “not in the public interest”

It also cited an increased risk of domestic violence with a new pub and pokies venue opening in a residential neighbourhood.

"The existing hot spot for domestic violence which includes the site is a persuasive reason to be concerned about introducing a hotel onto the site where there is currently no liquor outlet," commissioner Susan O'Neill ruled.

Mr De Angelis had taken Liverpool Council to court when it rejected his proposal to take the rundown hotel in Casula, used for by Family and Community Services, and turn it into a “family friendly” pub.

His company, the De Angelis Hotel Group, was planning to take 15 poker machine licenses from another hotel in Liverpool – which could generate more than $1.8 million in profit a year – and transfer it to the new hotel.

However, his case was set back when the court heard evidence that the pub was in the “Golden Triangle" of tattoo parlours, a methadone clinic and brothels, a very different world from the residential neighbourhood.

The court follows a big community backlash which saw school students, teachers, aged care residents, and a hospital surgeon joining the council in opposing the venue.

That saw 700 Casula Public School students signing a petition last year opposing the pub which sits just 140 metres from the school.

Dr John Crozier, a surgeon at Liverpool Hospital, told the court the area already had a high rate of domestic and non-domestic assaults,

A pub, he said, would only increase the level of alcohol-related assault and crime.

by Leon Gettler, December 15th 2016