(source: Jan 6, 2011 The Daily Telegraph)
Andrew Clennell State Political Editor From: The Daily Telegraph January 06, 2011 12:00AM
THE extreme makeover of Star City casino could include 1000 more poker machines, with the venue set to rejuvenate its proposal to introduce more pokies under a Coalition government.
If the casino's wish is granted, it would bring Star City's total number of poker machines to 2500 - on par with Melbourne's Crown Casino, from which it is hoping to snatch overseas high rollers with its refurbishment.
And Opposition gaming and racing spokesman George Souris has given Star City some hope, refusing to rule out allowing the casino to up its tally of poker machines if, as expected, the Liberal-Nationals are elected in March.
Mr Souris yesterday confirmed he had had discussions with the casino on the issue, but no formal meeting.
"I am not ruling out anything or ruling in anything," Mr Souris said.
"I have had millions of bloody discussions with Star City, some of which have been simply pointing out they are 1000 less [poker machines] than Crown."
Star City spokesman Brad Schmitt said a solid proposal would be presented to the Coalition once they won government.
"We haven't put a proposal on the table yet," he said. "There's no formal proposal. We'll talk to him [Mr Souris] after the election."
Star City is hopeful it will finally have a chance of getting its contentious proposal approved after it was ruled out by Premier Kristina Keneally earlier this year.
If a Coalition government gave the green light for the pokie increase, it would result in tens of millions of dollars in gaming tax revenue for government coffers.
Star City is building an events centre which would hold about 4000 people as part of a $575 million upgrade and was mounting the argument with Treasurer Eric Roozendaal earlier this year that money from the poker machines could help fund the $65 million events centre.
Mr Roozendaal is understood to have seriously considered the proposal but decided it would be too controversial.
Date Posted: 06-Jan-2011