MP: End Tasmanian Monopoly

Anti-gaming Aussie MP Andrew Wilkie (l.) has called for a review of the casino operator Federal Group, which now holds a gaming monopoly in the Australian state of Tasmania. Wilkie, an independent, says the license should be put out for bid.

Firm holds monopoly until 2023

Independent Australian lawmaker Andrew Wilkie Tasmania says the gambling monopoly held by casino operator the Federal Group should be reevaluated and the license possibly be put out for open tender before the current term expires.

According to ABC Online, the Tasmanian Opposition has described the casino operator, which operates Hobart’s Wrest Point Casino and Launceston’s Country Club, as “fantastic.” The company is an indirect donor to both the Labor and Liberal parties.

“The renewal will physically occur in 2018, or a new license issued, I might add, but the consideration of that would be going on now,” said the Denison MP. “Surely that renewal of that license should be through an open tender process where the new license holder or license holders will pay a fair market value for that license. Otherwise it’s just another good gift for a good mate at the expense of the Tasmanian taxpayer.”

The current deed gives the Federal Group a monopoly until 2023, but a decision to end the exclusive agreement could be made sooner.