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Tasmanian Premier in Casino Scandal

10 January 2006

TASMANIA – As reported by the Australia Advertiser: "Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon enjoyed thousands of dollars' worth of free hospitality at the Packer family's Crown Casino in Melbourne last November, days before handing a $700 million internet gambling licence to company chief James Packer.

"Mr Lennon was given a free upgrade to a six-star suite at the casino complex during the Spring Racing Carnival, where he had complimentary French champagne, a private butler and free drinks and food in an exclusive VIP lounge.

"Crown is owned by the Packer family's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, which has a half-stake in Betfair Australia, the company awarded the betting licence by Mr Lennon one day after he checked out of the complex.

"…Details of the VIP stay were an embarrassment for the Tasmanian leader as they seemed to conflict with his denials in Parliament that he had received any free hospitality from the Crown management…"

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