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Casino companies circle license hopeful

4 Apr 2007

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Gold Coast Bulletin: "The NSW Government previously assured local voters that a deal would not be made with gaming companies.

"However, it has back-flipped and agreed to negotiate potential changes to gaming legislation.

"After Premier Morris Iemma's recent state election win, gaming powerbrokers from Tabcorp and James Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) began secretly lobbying the new Gaming and Racing Minister, Graham West.

"…However, recent speculation has increased that with a 12-year exclusivity period expiring in September, Mr Packer is moving to secure a change to the current casino licence structure.

"PBL wants changes to the legislation, with the focus aimed at setting up a regional entertainment casino, either in the Tweed, Hunter Valley or Wollongong.

"…Those three locations were first shortlisted in a 1996 NSW Government white paper as suitable locations for a second casino outside Sydney.

"…Tabcorp wants to ensure the State Government sticks to its guns, but if legislation is changed, Tabcorp wants to be considered in a duel with its cashed-up rival…"

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