ACT Campaign Opposes Casino Canberra Pokies

ClubsACT has made no secret of its opposition to Casino Canberra’s proposal to add new pokies to the venue. To gain support from the community, the organisation has launched a campaign that promotes the clubs industry as well as an online petition.

Last year, Aquis Entertainment purchased Casino Canberra and planned to invest $330 million making over the venue. The aim of the project was to attract more high-roller tourists, competing with casinos like The Star in Sydney and Crown Melbourne. Australia is becoming a major international gambling destination and Aquis wants Casino Canberra to get in on the action.

As part of this plan, Aquis wants to add 500 poker machines to the casino floor. Casino Canberra has never before been home to pokies, as clubs had the exclusive rights to operate gaming machines. As such, ClubsACT and the clubs industry at large is not pleased about the potential for Casino Canberra to cut into its business. However, Aquis may not go through with the renovation if the new pokies are not granted.

ClubsACT Head Gwyn Rees has launched the petition and the campaign, as he wants to raise awareness about all of the good that the clubs industry does for the community. Every year, clubs donate over $11 million in pokie profits to 1000 organisations in Canberra. Many of these organisations benefit the elderly, children and ethnic groups across the state, and they would lose out on funding if Casino Canberra were to begin operating pokies.

Mr Rees stated that this is yet another obstacle that the government has imposed on clubs in the ACT. From the smoking ban to new cash machine restrictions, clubs have seen their bottom being threatened for a number of years. Now, ClubsACT has had enough and is confident that this campaign will make the government think twice about ending the pokie machine monopoly that is held by the clubs industry.