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27 October 2011

James Packer Whacks Poker Machine Reforms - 27th October 2011

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James Packer, chairman of casino owner Crown, says proposed poker machine reforms will not tackle problem gambling.

Speaking at Crown’s annual general meeting in Melbourne this morning, Mr Packer said mandatory pre-commitments for high-intensity poker machines was not the right solution.

"We don’t have an issue with the federal government taking action against problem gambling, but it must be the right solution," he said.

"In my view, there is no evidence that introducing mandatory pre-commitment or introducing a one dollar maximum bet will be effective in tackling problem gambling, but it will hurt recreational players, and that will cost jobs and investment across the industry and cost the state government tax revenue used for essential community services.

"It’s not enough to identify the right problem, we need the right solution." Crown, which owns the Crown Casino in Melbourne and Burswood Casino in Perth, is concerned about problem gambling and always has been, Mr Packer said. "I believe no one in this country, or, in fact, in the world-wide casino industry, has done more to address problem gambling," he said.

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