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Pokie Cuts Threatened

22 November 2004

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by the Advertiser: "State Government plans to cut the number of poker machines by 3000 are under threat because of a $50,000 cap put on the sale price of surplus machines.

"MPs are warning the cap will make it hard to reach the target because hotels will be reluctant to sell machines for such a low price.

"Earlier this month, the Government amended its own Bill in the House of Assembly to ensure the plan to allow hotels to 'top up' the number of machines they lost through the cuts did not lead to a huge financial windfall for venues selling poker machine licences.

"Evidence had been given to a parliamentary committee hearing earlier this year that machines would change hands for more than $100,000 each.

"Under a complex formula for removing 3000 machine licences, 2200 will be given up by hotels, while the remaining 800 will be traded out of the system by requiring venue operators to give up a machine for every three, or part of three, machines they sell.

"The need to forfeit a machine means those wishing to sell would get a maximum of $37,500 a machine..."

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