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2CH news comments

James Packer and the public interest

For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 14 July 2013.

More questions are being raised about James Packer’s successful bid to secure a second NSW casino licence for his company Crown.

Elizabeth Knight, business reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, says “the decision to allow a second casino licence in NSW does raise questions about whether it was appropriate for the O’Farrell government to rely so heavily on competition as its rationale for granting approval.”

And Graeme Samuel, former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, noted that “when it comes to gambling, competition is not always a desirable process because competition raises incentives to undertake activities, such as attracting more people to use your product, which may not be consistent with public interest considerations.”

While Crown’s proposal indicates an emphasis on drawing offshore patrons to Sydney, it will also seek to increase the number of local patrons, which will inevitably lead to more gambling addiction and related social problems.”

I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.

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