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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . .

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MRS JONES: My question is to the minister for Racing and Gaming. The proposal by Aquis to expand the casino and to apply for poker machines has been before the government for several months. Yet on 13 July 2016 the ABC reported that you had not yet seen the casino's proposal. Is this report correct? If not, when did you first see the proposal? If so, why have you not seen it?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mrs Jones for her question. Yes, we did see the casino's proposal at the very beginning of the process. So the Economic Development Directorate was dealing with that, as the directorate does. I have met with the casino to discuss some planning issues around the proposal.

Mrs Jones: When?

MR GENTLEMAN: I will have to come back to you with the exact date.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, why have you not been involved in detailed assessments of this proposal?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mrs Jones again. The proposal is one that is brought to EDD, so it is not specifically under my direction for gaming and racing or planning at this stage.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, what assessment have you made of the impact of this proposal on community clubs?

MR GENTLEMAN: I have not had a full brief on the impacts that it could propose. We have had some brief from the directorate on poker machines especially in this proposal and the legislative arrangements around those poker machines and what would need to occur if the proposal were to go forward. But, as I said earlier, it is an unsolicited bid. It is going through the unsolicited bid process.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: What assessment have you made on the impact of this proposal on problem gambling?

MR GENTLEMAN: The proposal so far from government back to Aquis was a proposal for 200 poker machines for the casino. That would mean a reduction in poker machines overall in the ACT and would fit into the harm minimisation procedures that this government has in place. So overarchingly I would say in that response that it would be seen to be of benefit for harm minimisation across the territory. As you would know, the reduction of poker machines is an imperative in our harm minimisation program.

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