Australian Liberals Gambling To Party With Club Pokies

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Oct/15/2010

The Australian Liberal Party is gambling that its policy on Australian club pokies will be a win - win. Experts are divided as to if this is a low, moderate or high risk political move. Media Man and Gambling911 probe and give you a front row seat on the situation...

Australian Clubs To Get Land Based Casino Style Games!...

Australian clubs could be given the golden opportunity to install as numerous multi-terminal gaming machines featuring the likes of blackjack, roulette and other casino-style games under a Coalition (Liberal - Nationals) government.

The State Government has now accused Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell of attempting to set up "mini-casinos" throughout the state of NSW after it emerged part of a "deal" he inked this past Sunday with clubs to cut one armed bandit tax included the provision to lift a cap of sorts on "multi-terminal machines". It's Man VS Machine!

In the freshly signed memorandum of understanding, O'Farrell agreed to "remove limitations on installing multiple terminal gaming machines in clubs".

It has now come to light that O'Farrell to honour the deal in government he would be required to remunerate Star City millions in compensation! Premier Kristina Keneally said she was "alarmed" at O'Farrell's policy. Polie and pub talk is that its a bit of a 'Casino Jack' style deal, 'Casino Jack' of course generating world wide headlines for the "fun and games", corruption and the like discovered in Native American - political lobbying deals. To date James Packer's Crown Casino or Tabcorp (including Star City Casino) will not comment on any matters relating to 'Casino Jack'.

"Barry O'Farrell's secret plan will see an explosion of electronic roulette and blackjack gaming in NSW suburbs through mini-casinos," Ms Keneally told the press.

"I cannot believe that he tried to get away with this secret plan - slipping it into a press statement as a small single bullet point and hoping no one would notice. Barry O'Farrell has no plans for more doctors, nurses, carers, police officers or teachers, but he does have a scheme to extend electronic roulette wheels and electronic black jack tables across the state."

The NSW Government legislated in 2008 to put a 15% cap on multi-terminal gaming machines.

Star City yesterday revealed that the legislation was a condition of the deal with the Government in which it snatched over $100 million bucks for the exclusivity licence to run the casino in 2007.

But the Opposition and clubs complained that they had been in fact "tricked" about the motivations for the cap and called on the Government to release full details of their "secret agreement" with Star City, Sin City's only legal casino (Kings Cross "dens" are not included), as they are underground hidden vice!

"The Government agreed to put a cap on casino-type games in other venues," spokesman Peter Grimshaw said. "The agreement simply states that ... if another land-based casino with either electronic or table games was created, the casino would be entitled to compensation."

The opposition gaming and racing spokesman George Souris advised the Coalition might have to dump its promise to allow more multiple terminal gaming machines in clubs if they would face a bill from Star City Casino as a result of the "fun and games".

Clubs NSW chief executive Anthony Ball told press he was stunned by the secret deal between the Government and the casino.

"The Government has always denied to me any link between their decision to restrict the number of multi terminal machines in clubs and their new agreement with the casino," he advised. "Clubs are being forced to remove multi terminals just because the casino wanted it so."

Insiders say the land based fun and games might further boost the popularity of online casino games.

A Media Man spokesperson said "All of the political fun and games relating to land based casinos, pubs and pokie palaces has not slowed online gambling at online casinos, if fact we think it may be increased online gambling numbers."

The Late News...

Almost by miracle the Crown Casino staff strike has been avoided at the 11th hour. Media Man and Gambling911 congratulate all parties on the successful negotiations seeing the strike called off. Experts had previously tipped a 99.9% chance of the strike going ahead, and had estimated a $4 million dollar loss to Crown Casino, but now there will be no or very little financial loss. Well done to all parties and players.

Greg Tingle is the proprietor of Media Man International, a leading content provider and is based in Australia where he contributes to the Gambling911.com website.  

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