Australian Chook Lotto Goose Not Laying Golden Gambling Egg, by Greg Tingle - 2nd April 2010

Red tape can be a pain in the tail for web publishers, casino entrepreneurs and the like, and man down under Greg Tingle at Media Man invest egg ates for Gambling911 ...

real news, spin or April Fools... you be the judge..think Donald Trump, Calvin Ayre and Steve Wynn have got issues with red tape, rules and regulations... legal eagles may have a field day with what our friends 'Plucka Duck' and TV host Daryl Somers are going through this Easter.

Australian TV, gambling and lotto, don't mix, at least that's the story thus far for an Australian iconic comedy and variety show.

Hey Hey It's Saturday host Daryl Somers is going to need a special licence in every Australian state and territory to get the showcase segment back on the air cum April 14.

He said 'Chook Lotto', where Jacki MacDonald collected numbered frozen chickens from a cage to award prizes to a contestant, is subject to the same rules as any lottery operator because it is considered a game of luck rather than a game of skill.

Somers also had to apply for a permit for resident chook man 'Plucka Duck'.

"It's absurd," Somers said.

"Bureaucracy is now threatening the very nature of show business these days.

"We're talking about a bit of fun on a variety show not a new poker machine venue!

"All we're trying to do is give people a good entertaining segment that's part of Australian television history and it's being tied down by bureaucrats.

"The segment ran for years and didn't turn viewers into problem gamblers."

The 'chook lotto' matter comes just days after Aussie Formula One driver Mark Webber branded Victoria a "nanny state" for its stringent road rules.

Somers was able to get around the laws in last year's hugely successful reunion specials by not awarding prizes.

He now tells us recreating the cage that holds the frozen chooks had been a costly exercise because it now had to meet complex OH&S guidelines.

"It's 10 times more difficult to get anything done these days because of all this pointless bureaucracy," he said.

Opposition state gaming minister Michael O'Brien slammed the 'Chook Lotto' red tape.

"Gambling laws are designed to limit problem gambling and keep corruption at bay," Mr O'Brien said.

"I don't think the underworld is interested in 'Chook Lotto' and I don't think anyone ever lost their house because of 'Chook Lotto' either.

"It does seem that this is bureaucracy gone mad and I would urge the regulator to sit down and do everything it can to try and ensure this icon returns to our screens."

Spokeswoman for State Gaming Minister, Tony Robinson, advise any competition that offers prizes of more than $5000 needs a permit under state law.

"If Chook Lotto is run the way it always has been in the past, it will need a permit in Victoria if the total prize value is above $5000," she said.

"The purpose of requiring permits is to ensure that lotteries are conducted fairly. "Harmonising state regulations will make it easier to run national trade promotion lotteries - but unfortunately not in time for this year's Hey Hey It's Saturday."

Punters, does Somers, the Aussie Gambling minister or the Cook have egg on its face, you be the judge, and Happy Easter, and may you luck be Eggs Lent.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company.

*No chooks, birds or animals were harmed in this special invest egg ation.

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