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Australian Casino Authority's Fee Investigated

3 October 2001

AUSTRALIA – Oct. 3, 2001 –As reported by (Australia) "The Victorian Government last night called on the Ombudsman to investigate a $400,000 payment to the Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority made by a multi-national gaming machine manufacturer it had investigated.

"Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos has asked Ombudsman Barry Perry to investigate whether the authority's acceptance of the payment from International Game Technology was appropriate.

"The $US200,000 payment was made by IGT, a Fortune 500 American company, after the authority's report of an investigation into the company's involvement in bad corporate practices in Turkey in the early 1990s was handed down on August 28 this year.

"…[The authority's director of gaming and betting Bill Lahey] ordered the investigation into IGT, whose subsidiary IGTA has operated in Australia for 14 years, in response to allegations IGT's European employees had invoiced machines at a false price to enable customers to pay lower import duties.

"…Mr Lahey described the payment of costs by companies investigated by the authority as uncommon, but said it was appropriate in this case because the investigation was `the first of its kind'…"

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