Dragons warn of leaving the Gong Â Â By Brent Read Â Â February 28, 2008 http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,23289137-23214,00.html LEADING St George Illawarra officials have warned the Dragons could be forced to abandon Wollongong unless something is done to alleviate pressure on the gaming industry. In a letter addressed to New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma, St George Leagues Club general manager Danny Robinson paints a bleak future with the increased poker machine tax, and new smoking regulations. The Dragons have had their grant from the powerful St George Leagues Club slashed by $2 million, while the Wollongong Leagues Club contributes nothing to the football club. As a result, Robinson warns the Illawarra region could eventually be part of the Dragons in name only. "The Illawarra Steelers Club have advised that they are unable to contribute any funds towards the cost of football in the foreseeable future," Robinson writes in the letter to Iemma. "This may well end the Dragons' participation in the Wollongong region with no Dragons matches staged at the Wollongong Sports Ground." Most NSW clubs rely on leagues club grants and the issue has become such a concern that the NRL has formed a working committee to investigate the impact of the poker machine tax. St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust, a member of the committee, stressed the Dragons had a contract to play games at WIN Stadium until 2011. However, he could make no guarantees beyond that point. "I think Danny is foreshadowing what could be a problem going forward if we can't get answers to the circumstances that are falling financially at the moment," Doust said. "It's hypothetical out there in the future that that might threaten NRL or elite rugby league being played in Wollongong. But nobody has that on their agenda at the moment." While St George Leagues Club has provided the financial muscle for the joint venture, the club's playing strength has largely been secured from the Illawarra region. Games have also traditionally been split between the regions. As part of the merger, formed in 1999, the Dragons have played at Oki Jubilee Stadium in Sydney and WIN Stadium in Wollongong. With Oki Jubilee undergoing renovations, the club has shifted games to ANZ Stadium. "We love the fact the St George Illawarra Dragons are the NRL brand of the region. We wouldn't leave easily either," Doust said. "It's still hypothetically possible given the way the situation is at the moment. We have a lot of work to do to keep it sustained in Wollongong, as we have to keep it sustained generally."