BUSINESS

Swings and roundabouts for the Victorian government

TAGs: Australia, crown, James Packer, Victoria

swings-and-roundabouts-in-victoriaYou wouldn’t have known it but Australia is also bidding for the right to host the World Cup in 2022. With the decision to be made later this week, Prime Minister Julie Gillard didn’t even feel the need to visit the venue of Thursday’s bid, Zurich. Without wanting to anger feminist groups around the world, the old adage that girls don’t like football is clearly being adhered to by Ms Gillard.

A great deal bigger than the World Cup to the Aussies, is the issue of problem gambling in the country. Victoria has problems much like many of the other states. The incoming Labor administration has promised to tackle the problem, pledging $160million, but it’s hard to see how getting tough on it will help them.

An article in The Age seems to suggest that James Packer’s Crown casino group is not likely to get the most welcome of receptions from the new governor. The figures contributed to the economy speak for themselves though.

Victorians lost $5.1 billion on gambling and wagering last financial year, and the Victorian government’s take via taxes and levies was $1.6 billion – almost 12% of its total tax intake, including $149.5 million from the Crown Casino.

It’s hard to see how they can justify being harsh enough to block a further casino being built in the state. As far as economies go, Australia is nowhere near the dire straits of Europe and is therefore not as desperate for money. Losing the cooperation with Crown could be rather costly though.

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