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Australian Official: 18-Year Pokie License a Mistake

28 May 2004

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australian: "As Bracks government backbenchers push for new measures to curb problem gambling, Joan Kirner, the Victorian Labor premier who gave an 18-year duopoly poker machine licence to Tabcorp and Tattersall's, admitted it was a mistake.

"Mrs Kirner said yesterday she could not have foreseen the devastating consequences of problem gambling when she signed the deal in 1991.

"…Mrs Kirner said gambling's tax take in Victoria - 13 per cent of total tax revenue - was significantly more than she had foreseen.

"…The Government has claimed the contract with the gaming giants - which gives them a licence to operate 13,750 machines each - prevented it reducing the number of machines because it would involve 'billions of dollars' in compensation…"

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