The Parramatta Eels are embracing a new business model and diversifying their income streams as they attempt to move away from a reliance on gambling revenue ahead of changes in government policy.

The Eels will now lease commercial and retail space in a new $65 million rugby league precinct, per the Australian Financial Review.

Still under construction, the Eels' centre of excellence is currently being constructed around their training base in Kellyville, in Sydney's west. It will be the largest dedicated rugby league facility in Australia and is due to be completed in 2024.

While diversification is standard practice, the move comes ahead of the NSW Government's decision to make poker machines cashless following the revelation from the NSW Crime Commission that poker machines were regularly being used to launder significant sums of money.

While the move has already been met with resistance from the AHA and similar groups, it's clear the Eels are looking to adapt, given they currently house approximately one third of the poker machines in their local government area.

It also completes a six-year turnaround for the club, who were fined for cheating the cap, had officials deregistered and their entire board sacked during a tumultuous period around 2016.

NRL Chief Andrew Abdo has been vocal in his support of the club's changes since then, suggesting other clubs follow their approach.

“The Eels leadership… have done a terrific job. As an NRL club they've performed well on the field and also off it,” Abdo said, per the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Parramatta is in the heartland of Sydney, and all our clubs are community-based clubs. The Eels have done a great job of connecting with their community.

“Their strategy and mission of diversifying their revenue should be commended.”

The Eels are also making internal moves to push away from a reliance on pokies, with a number of upcoming projects – including a $5 million dining area – aimed at changing the perception of the venue from a ‘pokies den' into a premium hospitality venue.