The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) local clubs launched an attack on the government recently. This was for offering 200 poker machines to Canberra Casino. Reports claimed that Andrew Barr, the Chief Minister of ACT, granted the casino poker machines. This is because it was the only Australian Casino without pokie machines.
However, at the moment, community clubs are the only venues that have poker machines in the Capital Territory. The Australian Capital Territory has close to 5 000 poker machines. These machines all belong to the local clubs. This means that the Canberra Casino is the only casino in Australia with no poker machines. Gwyn Rees, the clubs ACT CEO, described this move by the government as an attack to the clubs. He further said it’s unacceptable since the government has been attacking the club industry for a long time.
According to Rees, the state didn’t consult with the club industry about that move. He said that it’s a disappointment to the whole club industry. He further said that the community clubs’ members are frustrated and are very angry about the move. According to a statement that he made to the media, it’s an erosion of the community gaming model.
Canberra Casino Encouraged by the Government’s Move
Initially, Canberra Casino had requested 500 poker machines, but the government only approved only 200. Although they got less than what they had asked for, Canberra Casino is grateful for the games they received. The casino said the move is “extremely encouraging”.
Moreover, the chief minister offered the casino the poker machines after the redevelopment proposal on the casino was approved. The redevelopment proposal hinged the casino to being granted access to gaming machines.
Aquis Entertainment Ltd, which is the mother-body of the Canberra Casino, released the statement expressing their excitement of the news. They said the positive outcome gives them the certainty they require to finalise their business case for the project.
Despite all of this excitement, Brendan Smyth, the ACT Opposition spokesman is still against the idea. He questioned the logic and asked why 200 machines are right when 500 machines were wrong.