Commission approves casino games increase

The Gaming and Wagering Commission has approved an increase in the number of electronic gaming machines (EGMs) and gaming tables at Crown Perth.

The Commission’s decision means the casino operator can increase the number of EGMs by 100 per year over the next five years, and the number of table games by 25 per year over the next four years.

Commission Chairman Barry Sargeant said the Commission took a number of issues into consideration when making its decision, including the fact that Crown was not just a gambling facility but more an overall integrated entertainment complex that was undergoing significant redevelopment.

“The Commission also recognised the public interest value of this decision both in terms of the tourism potential and employment opportunities that the improvement of the complex will bring,” he said.

“A significant factor in this decision was that Western Australia has a much lower rate of problem gambling than other States, thanks mainly to the fact that WA promotes ‘destination gambling’ whereby people make a conscious decision to visit the casino to gamble.

“As a result, the State has the lowest ratio of EGMs per 1000 adults in the country, which is approximately 11 times lower than the national average.”

The Commission also considered information by the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor that said the concept of destination gambling helped prevent “opportunistic gambling” that occurred in other States where EGMs were far more accessible throughout the community.

This view was shared by the Productivity Commission which made a connection between WA’s low prevalence of problem gambling and destination gambling.

The Commission believes the upcoming hotel and entertainment complex development will bring both social and economic benefits to WA without any material impact to the prevalence of problem gambling.

Mr Sargeant said Western Australia has a reputation for maintaining a strong and responsible approach to the regulation of gambling and there was no reason to expect that stance to change.

The approval is subject to the casino operator fulfilling its commitment to construct a six-star hotel at the complex.

By the completion of the phase-in period, the casino will have a total of 2500 EGMs and 320 gaming tables.

Media contact: Gary McHugh 9425 1812

Last updated: 16/03/2015 14:11:13 PM

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