Image for STATE: Government may end Federal Group’s monopoly on poker machines

Federal Group would lose its monopoly on poker machines in pubs and clubs and a special high rollers casino licence would be created for MONA’s proposed development, under a Tasmanian Government draft policy.

The Government’s proposal also includes lowering the cap on machine numbers by 150 to 3,530.

While the existing limit allows for more, there are 3,530 poker machines in operation at venues, meaning the new cap will not result in the removal of any machines.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein outlined the Government’s policy position in State Parliament.

While Federal Group would retain control of poker machines in the state’s only two casinos, up to two special licences for high rollers’ boutique gaming establishments would be provided in response to a proposal by MONA founder David Walsh.

“In the first instance the opportunity to apply for such a licence should be afforded to Mr Walsh given he initially came forward with a proposal in respect [to] financially supporting the MONA museum,” Mr Gutwein said.

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