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Poker Machines to make their way to new casino

by Brent Ford

200 poker machines could make their way to a renovated Canberra Casino following permission from the ACT government.

Under the agreement the Casino will need to purchase existing machines from current licensed clubs in Canberra. It's all part of an existing cap that keeps a maximum number of poker machines in the ACT.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr released a statement saying if Aquis wishes to progress to the next phase of its bidding process, they will have to develop a new proposal that allows them no more than 200 poker machines.

"500 machines would be to many. While there are currently several groups with more than 500 machines, no single venue has anywhere near that number," Barr said.

"It is also important that for the casino to operate poker machines, it will need to implement harm minimisation measures over and above those in the community clubs and it will be taxed at a higher rate and make larger community contributions."

The Convention Centre will also stay in the hands of the government, after the government knocked back a proposal for Aquis to take control of it.

Another condition of the government's new proposal means the casino will only be allowed to buy machines, once the government is satisfied the redeveloped precinct would benefit the community.

Clubs ACT is yet to release any statement regarding the ACT government's latest proposal.

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