Australian Casino Jewel Mildura: Christmas Is Coming, by Greg Tingle - 10th June 2010

Down under in Australia, Mildura way in regional Victoria, the debate over a new casino development heats up. Media Man and Gambling911 with the story...

Who will win? The casino "lovers" or the casino "haters"? Mildura is enjoying its own 'State Of Origin' type mini casino war, within its own country patch. It's not quite Crown Casino VS Sydney's Star City, but the passion and the size of the fight in the dogs is on the same level.

An anti-casino campaigner reckons the Mildura folks ought to think hard and carefully at Mildura casino proponent John Haddad's "track record" in the casino and gaming biz.

Mr Haddad is looking to develop the Jewel Casino in Mildura and includes his Christmas Island Casino experience in his credentials.

The Xmas Island operation was once upon a time considered the most profitable in Australia but closed in the fateful year of 1998.

Anti-pokies campaigner Paul Bendat says he is quite concerned about Mr Haddad's links to the Christmas Island Casino and has offered his 2 cents...

"One has to be very, very careful that there is some sort of a long-term commitment to Mildura. The casino at Christmas Island, the one Mr Hadddad spruiks his association with, has been closed for 10 years. The buildings are deteriorating and there is a proposal to use them for asylum seekers."

In this rebuttal Mr Haddad says his involvement with the Indonesian-backed Christmas Island Casino cannot be called into question.

He says in his role as the administrator he recommended the closure of the casino licence because the Indonesian owners refused to comply with Australia's regulations.

"Actually the whole casino operation in Australia was jeopardised by what the Indonesians were asking me to proceed with and that's something that was not tenable to me," he emphasized.

"The control of that was scrupulous - in fact, I should have been complimented, I would have thought, on the way I protected the casino environment in Australia."

Heroes or Villains, good or evil? Who will survive in this battle where the casino developer is looking to bring home the bacon for both themselves and the region, community et al?

Punters, feel free to chip in via the Gambling911 forum, and as always, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a bakers dozen of sectors they cover.

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