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The New Casino Plan for Victoria

On November 12th, 2007, Premier John Brumby has left the door wide open for another casino organization to contest the monopoly of Crown in Victoria. Mr. Brumby commented that a second casino facility was not on the mind of the State Government but he did not say that they will not entertain the idea of a second casino. He added that the exclusivity of Crown has technically end, so they can allow a second casino if they want to.

When Crown first debut their casino in Victoria, the Kennett administration signed an exclusivity agreement that blocked other casinos from operating in the area. But the prohibition on casino facilities in Victoria ended in 1999 and the ban on building a second casino facility in Melbourne expired in 2005.

The state government has received more than $3 billion in total taxes since the Crown casino opened for business at the Southbank. Players have lost more than $9 billion at the casino. The residents of Victoria accounted for about 66% of that cash with International gamblers accounting for the remaining $3 billion.

Brumby said that he personally does not believe that anyone proposed to construct a second casino facility. He said that he is not opposed to the idea of a second casino facility but it is not in their agenda at the moment. Just recently, the NSW government allowed the Star City Casino licensee Tabcorp a twelve year extension on their license, getting $100 million in return for not allowing a second casino.

Legislation allowing a casino and poker machines in Victoria were pushed by the Kirner government in 1991 which has a big budget deficit problem. The Kennett government given the contract to Hudson Conway to construct the state's first gaming facility. The decision was criticized severely as the company was owned by a close friend of Kennett, Lloyd Williams.

The Crown Casino first opened for business at a temporary location at Flinders St. from 1994-1997 before they moved to Southbank. Just last year, Crown Players lost more than $1 billion. Analysts said that they are expecting the total to grow this year.


20 November 2007
News Submitted by:
Jack Silverman

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