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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 June 2018) . . Page.. 2001 ..


relating to poker machines in the casino, as well as the clauses relating to social impact assessments. Overall, the bill aligns with our desire to reduce gambling harm and increase public confidence in the process. That is why we will be supporting this bill today.

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (12.03), in reply: I am pleased to close the debate on the Casino and Other Gaming Legislation Amendment Bill. We should pause to note that we have heard today that the Canberra Liberals have stated that they will be voting against transparency and integrity. We should pause on that one and hear again that that is exactly what they have chosen to do today. They have made that very clear.

Mr Parton has said he is a little unsure of what we are dealing with here today, so please allow me to make it a bit clearer for him. There are three keys reasons why we regulate the gaming industry: to ensure industry integrity, to protect consumers and, most importantly, to reduce gambling harm. It is vital that all government decisions about the industry be transparent and that the benefits to the community of a regulatory approach are clear.

This bill provides for an unprecedented level of transparency in relation to key decisions under the Casino Control Act 2006. It does this through the establishment of independent casino advisory panels. A casino advisory panel will consider whether a proposed change in the ownership or leasing of the casino, or the grant or transfer of the casino licence, is in the public interest. A casino advisory panel will also advise on any application by the casino licensee to operate electronic gaming machines and fully automated table games.

Each casino advisory panel will be unique, and its composition will reflect the decision that is under consideration. A panel that is appointed to advise me about a transfer of the casino licence would obviously be quite different from another one that is considering the amendment of a casino lease or the conversion of restricted authorisations.

A range of knowledge, skills, and experience will be relevant to panel membership. These include governance, law, integrity and probity, finance, risk, urban design, and property development. The panel will make a recommendation to me about the specific decision that it has considered. Balancing transparency with fairness to the applicant, the panel’s report will be tabled in this Assembly once the applicant has been advised of the decision.

A new independent process to oversee these key casino decisions is an important addition to our existing industry integrity, consumer protection and harm reduction measures.

The Chief Minister’s directorate continues to liaise with Aquis Entertainment about its redevelopment proposal; however, as with the Casino (Electronic Gaming) Act that was passed last year, this legislation is not about any particular licensee or proposal. It is proponent neutral. We have been clear that, whoever holds the casino licence,


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