The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) local clubs has launched an attack on the government for offering 200 poker machines to Canberra Casino. It has been reported that the Chief Minister of ACT, Andrew Barr has granted the casino poker machines since it was the only Aussie Casino with no pokie machines.
Currently, in the Capital Territory community clubs are the only venues that have the poker machines. The ACT has close to 5 000 poker machines and they all belong to the local clubs. This also means that the Canberra Casino is the only Australia Casino that has no poker machines. The clubs ACT CEO, Gwyn Rees described the move by the government as an attack to the clubs. He went on to say it is unacceptable because the government has been attacking the club industry for way too long now.
According to Rees, the state did not consult with the club industry about the move and said it is a disappointment to the whole club industry. He went on to say that the community clubs’ members are frustrated and very angry about the move. According to the statement he made to the media, this is an erosion of the community gaming model.
Canberra Casino encouraged by the government’s move
Canberra Casino had initially requested to have 500 poker machines, but the government only approved to give them only 200. Although they got far less than they had asked for, they are grateful for the games they received, as far as saying the move is “extremely encouraging”.
The chief minister offered Canberra Casino the machines after the redevelopment proposal on the casino was approved. The redevelopment proposal hinged the casino to being granted access to gaming machines.
The ‘Mother’ body of the Canberra Casino; Aquis Entertainment Ltd, released the statement expressing their excitement of the news. “This positive outcome gives us the certainty we require to finalise our business case for the project,” their statement read.
Despite all of the excitement, the ACT Opposition spokesman Brendan Smyth is still against the idea. He went on to question the logic and said; “if the approval of 500 machines was wrong, why is 200 right?”