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SkyCity gives more detail of casino expansion plan...
SkyCity has revealed its vision for the Adelaide Casino, as part of a redevelop the Torrens riverbank precinct.
The company wants to expand the casino to include a hotel, more gaming facilities, VIP suites, more restaurants and bars and a spa and rooftop pool.
It says the work would involve no removal of any part of the current heritage building and its plan would give casino site visitors even better views of the heritage building.
SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison says the redevelopment will not proceed unless the South Australian Government comes up with concessions.
"We're working closely with the casino taskforce in South Australia regarding the regulatory framework for the Adelaide Casino and the outcome of those discussions will determine whether or not we're able to proceed in progressing our plans for the transformation of the Adelaide Casino," he said.
In the first half of the financial year, SkyCity Entertainment Group recorded a net profit of nearly $79 million, a 17 per cent rise, and revenue at the Adelaide Casino was up 6.9 per cent.
Queensland Casinos make pre-commitment...
Voluntary pre-commitment modules will be added to 3000 of Queensland pokies, bringing the percentage of the state's machines with the technology to 18 per cent.
But anti-gambling campaigner, independent federal senator Nick Xenophon, has labelled the move relatively empty.
Retiring state member and the minister responsible for gaming Paul Lucas yesterday announced that Echo Entertainment Group, which owns the Jupiter-branded casinos and hotels in Townsville and the Gold Coast, as well as the Treasury Casino and hotel in Brisbane, would begin rolling out the technology this month.
Mr Lucas said it was part of a $625 million upgrade Echo Entertainment had planned for their three Queensland properties. The allocation of 500 extra gaming machines for their south-east complexes would be conditional on the introduction of the technology.
Mr Lucas said the addition of 500 machines across the Brisbane and Gold Coast casinos had been sourced from "within the current state wide gaming machine cap" and there would be no overall increase in pokies across Queensland.
He said 11 per cent of the state's 44,000 poker machines already had voluntary pre-commitment technology installed and the Echo Entertainment Group's decision brought that figure to 18 per cent or 7800 machines.
"We've seen our problem gambling rates more than halve since 2001," Mr Lucas said.
"What that shows is measures such as voluntary pre-commitment work. That's why we continue to support voluntary pre-commitment but won't be supporting moves for mandatory pre-commitment until more research is done into its effectiveness."
But Mr Xenophon said voluntary pre-commitment did nothing for the gamblers who needed the most help.
"Voluntary pre-commitment is about as effective as voluntary speed limits and voluntary drink driving laws," he said. "It doesn't work and those who need it the most won't do it. So this is a case of more window dressing, more smoke and mirrors, surrounding the real issue."
Fellow independent senator Andrew Wilkie withdrew his support for Prime Minister Julia Gillard's government this month, when he said she reneged on their deal to implement an agreed pokies reform.
The agreement included mandatory pre-commitment for high-loss machines and a one-dollar limit on all other machines, with a May deadline. The federal government effectively walked away from the deal last month.
Mr Xenophon said he still believed major pokie reform was possible in Australia.
"I think it will happen because most Australians want it to happen. But you have the major parties caving into the poker machine lobby."
Release of legal advice on gambling reform...
Bill Shorten, Jenny Macklin - Tuesday, 1 February 2011...
The Australian Government today released legal advice on the Commonwealth’s power to legislate for important reforms to address problem gambling.
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, agreed with the Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, to commission this legal advice. The Prime Minister and Mr Wilkie also agreed that the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform would be informed of the legal advice.
The Australian Government is committed to working with the states and territories and industry to introduce key reforms which address the harm from problem gambling, including a full pre-commitment scheme for poker machines.
State and territory governments are responsible for the regulation of the gambling industry, except for online gambling.
However, problem gambling is a serious issue and the Australian Government believes more must be done to help problem gamblers and their families, particularly by reducing the harm caused by poker machines.
Research shows that three-quarters of severe problem gamblers have problems with poker machines.
Problem gambling can destroy families and ruin lives.
Problem gamblers spend an average of $21,000 a year on gambling. That's a lot of money by anyone’s standards – money that isn’t being spent on food, bills or the family mortgage.
We have written to Mr Wilkie, as Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform, to our state and territory colleagues on the Council of Australian Governments Select Council on Gambling Reform, and to Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chair of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling Reform, to provide them with the legal advice.
The advice from the Australian Government Solicitor confirms there are a range of constitutional heads of power available to the Australian Government, including corporations, trade and commerce, telecommunications, banking, currency, taxation and territories powers.
While this advice identifies the legislative options available to the Commonwealth, the Australian Government remains committed to reaching an agreement with the states and territories to progress these important reforms.
Gambling is a legitimate industry and a valued form of entertainment for many Australians. We will work with industry to implement these reforms in a staged, evidence-based way. We have established the Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling, chaired by Professor Peter Shergold AC, to seek advice from the industry, academics and gambling support services on how to best implement the reforms.
The Productivity Commission recommended the Commonwealth intervene if the states and territories do not agree to implement gambling reforms Australia wide.
Legislation for National Gambling Reforms, by Jenny Macklin - 17 February 2012
The Australian Government today released the draft National Gambling Reform Bills 2012 which will deliver long-lasting reforms to help the five million Australians affected by problem gambling.
The Bills put into action the reform package the Government announced on 21 January this year, including implementing pre-commitment technology and dynamic warnings on poker machines and introducing a $250 daily ATM withdrawal limit in pokies venues.
The Bills build on the Australian Government’s work on pre-commitment technology through the Council of Australian Government’s Select Council on Gaming Reform. At this forum in May last year, state and territory gaming ministers agreed to support the required infrastructure for pre-commitment technology in all jurisdictions.
These Bills give a clear timeline for the implementation of pre-commitment in pokies venues across Australia.
From next week the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Treasury will begin formal consultations with industry groups, manufacturers, community groups and the states and territories on the draft Bills.
Following the consultations, the Bills will be introduced into the parliament in the current session.
The Government has a clear plan to deliver the most significant and far reaching national reforms to tackle problem gambling ever seen in this country.
This is the first time the Commonwealth has taken national action to help problem gamblers and their families.
The draft legislation is available at www.fahcsia.gov.au
New star performers for SA...
SYDNEY, NSW - IGT announces that its set to release of two new games for its IGT bluechip Neo® cabinet in South Australia - taking its SA game offering for this new cabinet to seven since launch last. Age of Shogun™ and Wild Girls™ offer different play styles and game features to excite existing players and attract new ones.
The latest addition to IGT's very successful Shogun-themed games, Age of Shogun™ is a high denomination game featuring three progressive jackpots as well as triple prizes during 25 free games. Wild Girls™ on the other hand, is a low denomination game with a unique feature that offers extra substitutes and an interactive game screen during free games.
Bill Maglaris, IGT's SA State sales manager, commented: "IGT was the first gaming manufacturer to bring 3-level progressive jackpots to South Australia and it's great to see this feature teamed with one of IGT's popular game themes in Age of Shogun. If past Shogun games are an indication, this new game should prove popular with players. Wild Girls offers something new to the low denom market allowing players to collect symbols to gain additional substitutes and providing venues with a configurable hold percentage to suit their individual requirements."
We're pleased to be releasing two more games to our bluechip Neo game library in South Australia. This library now features a mix of denominations and low volatilities to ensure venues can choose games that meet their needs".
IGT is the world's largest gaming manufacturer. IGT Australia is a subsidiary of IGT and has served the local market for over 20 years. IGT Australia delivers the global strength of our parent via innovative products designed to maximise the potential of gaming floors across Australia and New Zealand. IGT's comprehensive range of value added services and systems ensures that venues get the most from their investments.
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