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Australian pubs broker secret pokie deal

5 March 2007

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: "Pubs have brokered a secret pre-election deal with the Iemma Government to install more poker machines in their lucrative gaming rooms.

"Publicans also want multiplayer electronic roulette and blackjack tables, popular games now confined to registered clubs.

"Their addition would be a jackpot for pubs, with 10 players betting up to $100 each and new games every few minutes.

"After contributing almost $2 million to Labor's re-election war chest, the hotel and club industries have won a review of the Government's poker machine policy to be announced if Labor is re-elected.

"It will focus on how to allocate 2700 poker machine licences that have been forfeited to the Government by clubs and pubs over the past four years.

"…Australian Hotels Association president John Thorpe said his organisation had long argued for pooled permits to be allocated to pubs in the economically drained and drought-hit regions of NSW.

"But he denied any deal with the Labor Government, saying the issue would be on the industry's agenda once the election was over and whichever party was in government…"

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