In continued efforts to stop Casino Canberra from offering poker machines, ClubsACT has taken their fight online. Pokies, or poker machines are known as slots on other continents. The group is currently taking signatures via an online petition to try and gain more opposition against pokies at the Canberra Casino, owned by Aquis.
The ACT community clubs gaming model does not yet allow for poker machine gaming for commercial purposes. A position to reverse the ban on pokies has yet to be finalized by the ACT government yet the Canberra Casino is hoping to purchase over 600 poker machines from the clubs in the city as part of their proposed redevelopment plan, which would see around $228 million spent in the process.
The casino, owned by Aquis Entertainment, will include new areas of gaming as well as entertainment of a resort-style. With these additions, the venue would be the largest pokie operator in ACT. Gwyn Rees, the Chief Executive of ClubsACT, stated that the existing community model would be destroyed if the venue offered pokie gaming and many of the clubs in the capital would be forced to close.
Back in September of last year, Chief Minister Andrew Barr stated that he could put an end to the poker machine ban at the Canberra casino but has yet to do so. Rees has continued to reiterate that the clubs are of significant importance in local society including the grants and jobs offered to the community groups and charities.
The ClubsACT has provided over 1100 organizations with funds from over $125 million in donations within a ten year time frame. The community club of Canberra would underpin the social fabric, according to Rees, if allowed to follow their proposed community model.