Canberra Casino stoush could head to courts
The stoush between Casino Canberra and Clubs ACT over additional pokie licenses could be headed to the courts with Hong Kong-based Acquis Entertainment, the parent company of the Casino, threatening legal action over statements made by Clubs ACT.
ACT chief minister Andrew Barr confirmed earlier this year that the Casino would receive an additional 200 pokie licenses, prompting Clubs lobbyist Andrew Farmer to accuse the government and the Casino of doing ‘backroom deals’.
Clubs ACT has led a campaign to reverse the decision saying it would cost nearly 2,300 employees their jobs and would cause a number of clubs would be shutdown due to a lack of business.
The dispute also involves the Canberra Raiders, who have supported Farmer and Clubs ACT’s campaign for the ACT government to fully disclose the details of the deal.
But Acquis Entertainment have raised the stakes, sending a letter through their legal representatives to all parties involved stating that the facts were purposely misconstrued and warned all them of legal action should they not remove all material and advertisements.
Acquis has also taken its grievances to the ACT Office of Fair Trading and ACCC.
It maintains that the expansion of the Canberra Casino would not only create new employment opportunities but provide struggling clubs with the opportunity to sell their pokie machines to the casino.
However, Clubs ACT has stated it won’t back down.
“We won’t be taking down material. Shutting down public debate may work where the foreign owners and their management teams come from, but we will not be silenced from speaking to our members in response to a government that has turned their backs on community clubs,” Gwynn Rees, chairman of Clubs ACT said.
The deadline for a response to the legal letter was set for July 20 but Acquis’ legal representatives haven’t yet revealed if they take further legal action.