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Australian Gaming Cap Binding Despite Vague Contracts

23 September 2001

AUSTRALIA –– As reported by the Australian Associated Press: "The Victorian government was legally bound to cap gaming machines at 27,500 even though the number was not stipulated in gaming licences, Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos said today.

"…He was responding to a report in the Sunday Age today, based on copies of gaming licences obtained under Freedom of Information, which said the licences awarded to Tattersall's and Tabcorp did not bind the government to a set number of poker machines.

"…`The fact of the matter is that there are implications of licence agreements, and the implication in this refers to the ministerial direction that was set by the previous government of having 27,500 gaming machines shared equally between Tattersall's and Tabcorp,' Mr Pandazopoulos told reporters.

"…Mr Pandazopoulos said if the government wanted to reduce the number of gaming machines, it could expose itself to legal action from Tattersall's and Tabcorp for compensation.

"Records of communications between the government and the gaming companies on poker machine numbers `would be around somewhere, he said…"

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