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Controversy Erupts Over Tasmanian Pokies

10 June 2004

TASMANIA – As reported by the Australia Examiner:"The Greens deliberately misled State Parliament over claims that Federal Hotels would gain $3.14 billion (US$2.18 billion) from a 20-year agreement to operate poker machines in Tasmania, Premier Paul Lennon claimed yesterday.

"Greens gaming spokesman Kim Booth claimed in a Budget estimates committee last week that an independent Citigroup analysis had shown that the company would earn $157 million a year from the agreement.

"But Citigroup analyst Jenny Owen yesterday said that the study, conducted in July 2003, had shown that $157 million was the total figure for the whole 20-year life of the agreement.

"On the other hand, the Government's own calculation of its expected tax revenue from pokies appears to show that the $157 million is far too low.

"…Mr Booth denied he had deliberately misled Parliament but said he was happy to accept that the figure was incorrect…"

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