Wednesday 16. March, 2016

Tasmanian Govt to Consult the Public on the Number of Gaming Machines

As part of the process of determining the future of gaming licenses in Tasmania, the Tasmanian Government has requested the input of the public on whether the number of machines in the state should be reduced.

The Federal Group, which has a monopoly on casinos and pokie operations in the state that is valid until 2023, is demanding an early extension of their gaming license. Although the state does not need to decide on the future of the gaming license until 2019, the Federal Group has stated that they will not begin upgrades to their two casinos until the government has agreed to extend their license.

However, the government has made it clear that they will not be bullied into making a decision and they will undertake an open discussion on the matter. Treasurer Peter Gutwein will outline the government’s policy framework on the issue in a ministerial statement tomorrow.

“We will address the issues of gaming machines in pubs and clubs; whether there should be an opportunity for additional non-residential casino licenses in the state, the future of existing casino licenses and keno, whether the cap on machines in the state should be reduced,” stated Premier Will Hodgman.

As part of their policy review, the state government requests input from the public and community with regards to the placement of machines, tax rates, licenses and the Community Support Levy from gambling activities.

Tasmanian gamblers lost almost $200 million on poker machines for the year 2014-15. There are currently 2,310 poker machines in pubs and clubs around the state, with a further 1,185 located in the state’s two casinos in Hobart and Launceston. The maximum number of machines allowed in the state according to the legislation is 3,500.


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