Sunday 18. October, 2015

Canberra Casino Seeks to Install Poker Machines

Canberra Casino has revealed plans for a $330 million project to develop a new gambling and entertainment sector in the city. Owners of the casino, Hong-Kong based Aquis Entertainment has requested that the ACT Government reconsider its restriction that poker machines be restricted to not-for-profit operators, in order for them to be able to attract international players.

Clubs ACT, the representative of clubs in the territory, is vehemently opposed to this request with Jeff House, CEO of Clubs ACT stating that a “casino with poker machines would be the death of community clubs in Canberra.”

He pointed out that based on experience in Sydney where the Star Casino resulted in a reduction of the number of community clubs by half, they would expect to see a similar result in Canberra. Clubs ACT has suggested that they would support poker machines at the casino if they are restricted to international visitors only.

“What we’re effectively doing is holding the casino to their own business plan,” Mr House stated.

“The casino has stated that the gaming machines that they seek are for the international market, so based on that, we say that if they do have poker machines then it should only be tourists … that play those machines, rather than the domestic market.”

“By doing that, the casino can maintain their business plan, focused on international tourists, and we can protect community clubs at the same time.”

Mr House has said that Clubs ACT expects the government to honor its memorandum of understanding which states that they will support the community gaming model at least up until the next election.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said that the government has not changed its policy at this stage, but has also not decided they will not consider the proposal.

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