Deadline for Casino bid as govt moves to minimise gaming harm

Released 13/04/2018

In line with the Government’s commitment to prevent gambling harm by dramatically cutting the number of electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in the ACT, the operators of the Canberra Casino have been given a month to progress their unsolicited bid to expand the Casino.

The ACT Government is committed to reducing the number of gaming machine authorisations by a fifth to 4000 by 2020.  To ensure this target is met, the Government has written to the Canberra Casino operators Aquis Entertainment giving them until 14 May to progress the unsolicited bid process they instigated.

It is important for the government to understand the role the casino will play in the authorisation trading scheme as it could potentially account for a significant number of the machines removed.

The Government has given conditional support for Canberra Casino to progress in the unsolicited bid process following legislative changes that would enable them to acquire authorisations through the trading scheme for 200 electronic gaming machines, and up to 60 terminals for fully automated table games. Because the conditions which would be imposed on the casino under trading scheme require one in three traded authorisations to be surrendered, the legislative changes would take up to 130 machines out of circulation.

Approval to operate the machines was given on the condition that the casino operators would proceed with their planned redevelopment of the casino precinct in the city’s east supporting a renewal of the area. The government has not received critical information required for the process to move forward.

The Government has also advised Canberra Casino operators that two new independent processes will be established in relation to future casino operations as part of the Government’s broader regulation of the gaming industry.

Independent panels will be established to make recommendations to the Minister in relation to transfers of ownership or operations of the Canberra Casino as well as any future application to operate Electronic Gaming Machines or Fully Automated Table Games under part 5 of the Casino (Electronic Gaming) Act 2017. These panels, which will be in addition to consideration by the Gambling and Racing Commission, will deliver an unparalleled level of transparency and independence in relation to the regulation of gaming in the Territory and ensure the most stringent oversight is given to the operation of the Casino and the gaming undertaken there.

An application to operate gaming machines would only be considered if a similar investment in the precinct was proposed and with the number of machines capped under the act.

The fundamental goal of these changes is to help ensure that people, families, and the Canberra community are better protected and supported to overcome the impacts of problem gambling.

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | | Media Releases

Media Contacts

Name Phone Mobile Email

Lauren Hall

02 6207 8486

0435 960 505

lauren.hall@act.gov.au

Alexandra Craig

02 6277 0881

0466 024 520

alexandra.craig@act.gov.au


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