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Australia – Crown deal gets reluctant backing from Victorian Labor

By - 16 September 2014

The Opposition Victorian Labor will give its support to a deal to increase Crown Casino’s operating license until 2050, despite having concerns over some of the detail in the agreement.

Labor said it would agree to the move to protect jobs for 500 workers.

The State Government stands to make over $900m from its deal with Crown, which will see the operator gain 128 new poker machines, 40 gaming tables and 50 automated gaming tables.

The opposition leader, Daniel Andrews, said: “It’s more in sorrow than any sense of great joy that I can confirm that the Labor party will not oppose the Crown bill. The alternatives are to cost jobs. Instead we’ve chosen to secure this public commitment which is very important at a time when unemployment is skyrocketing and our Tafe system is on its knees. We have to make the best of it as we have done, secure retraining free of charge for those 500 retrenched workers over the next four years, or pretend that we can rewrite this commercial arrangement with no resources on the floor of the Parliament, or scuttle the deal and cost jobs at Crown. Our choice was to scuttle this and cost jobs, waive it through, or make the best of a bad lot, and that’s exactly what we have done.”

Treasurer Michael O’Brien added: “Through our discussions with Crown we understood that Crown were contemplating these sort of measures anyway. We’re very pleased obviously that Crown will continue to offer training services and if they look to expand that, that’s certainly something we welcome.”

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