Wednesday 13. July, 2016

Rattenbury Complicates Canberra Casino Expansion Plans

The expansion plans for Canberra Casino have encountered a major hurdle in the form of Shane Rattenbury from the Greens. The casino’s bid for poker machines may have been complicated by Mr Rattenbury making his support conditional on specific stipulations he set out.

He has required a maximum bet amount per spin on poker machines at the casino to be capped at $1, limiting the potential loss per minute to $120, as opposed to the $1,200 that is possible with the $10 bets per spin that are available in clubs. In addition, he requested mandatory pre-commitment which will require players to state up front how much they are prepared to spend.

These conditions aim to reduce the harm of problem gambling that the additional poker machines at the casino will encourage, according to those who are against the proposal. Mr Rattenbury said that the Greens are currently discussing whether they would look to force the clubs in the ACT to operate according to the same conditions.

Aquis was not prepared to comment definitively, other than to insist that any development would need to be competitive in the region in order to go forward.

“Aquis Entertainment intends to make a significant urban renewal investment in the ACT,” a spokesman for the company stated. “Our proposal offers a broad range of flow on economic and tourism benefits, but for the project to proceed it remains imperative that any future development is able to be competitive with similar venues, both domestically and internationally.”

A spokesman for Chief Minister Andrew Barr said that the Aquis business case was being examined and that it would “take some time.” Gaming Minister Mick Gentleman ruled out legislation in August so the issue will not be decided before the election.

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