Casino Canberra in the nations capital is being denied entry to the gaming sector as the ACT Labor Government's Labor Clubs grabbed the majority of the almost $100 million profit made by pokies in the ACT last financial year.
The situation is leading to claims of a conflict of interest since Labor club poker machines made $14.21 million profit in 2008-09, just one-seventh of the $98.6 million profit made by all pokies in the ACT over the 12 months.
In a submission to the Australian Productivity Commission's gambling inquiry, Casino Canberra put forward a proposal to install 200 machines in the casino and estimated that they would contribute $3-4 million dollars to the ACT economy annually, in addition of $235 million contributed since it opened. However in a separate submission the ACT Treasury has once again rejected the casino's plans.
The Treasury submission argued granting the casino machines did not fit the ACT community gaming model. "When the Canberra casino licence was offered for sale by tender in the early 1990s, it was made clear at that time that gaming machines would not be permitted as part of the development," the submission said.
Media Man International, Gambling911, Crown Casino - Crown Limited, PartyGaming and Tabcorp are amongst the parties taking a keen interest in the case and Media Man representatives were heard joking that the situation might provide more good fodder for the film producer doing a feature on Australian casinos relationship with the Labor party in "Casino Jack" style.
Australia has some of the biggest and most passionate gamblers in the world, both in an traditional and online capacity, and many companies are looking for a piece of the action.
The online casino, sports betting and bingo sector is expected to grow this year, however as of this writing Casino Canberra is not satisfied with their current involvement.
Media Man reminds the public to bet responsibly and that measures such as playing with a friend or setting bet limits can be employed to keep the experience enjoyable.
*The writer holds shares in Crown Casino
*The writer is the founder and director of Media Man, primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company
*The writer is a special features contributor for Gambling911
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