Tasmania mulls allowing extra non-residential casino licenses

The state government of Tasmania may be open to offering a further two casino licenses, local media reports.

On Wednesday negotiations for a new state gaming license, due by 2019, got underway, according to The Mercury. The Federal Group has long held exclusive rights to operate casinos throughout Tasmania, with the current license to expire in 2023.

However, Treasurer Peter Gutwein has revealed that the government is open to two new casino licenses in addition to the two belonging to Federal Group.

“The government’s position is that limited new high roller, non-residential casino licenses should be available in Tasmania in addition to the Federal Group’s two casinos,” Gutwein said.

The current preference is to award one license to Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) operator, David Walsh, who proposes to include up to 12 gaming tables at his complex, targeting super wealthy international art lovers.

“The government’s view is that in the first instance, the opportunity to apply for such a licence should be afforded to Mr Walsh, given he initially came forward with a proposal in respect of financially supporting the Mona museum.”

With respect to poker machines, Gutwein said post 2023, the rights to operate these machines will likely be allocated and priced by a “market-based mechanism” such as a tender process.