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Cards close to his chest

PREMIER Gallop has confirmed his discussions with James Packer over the future of the Burswood Casino, but remained tight-lipped about the potential outcome.

The April visit by Mr Packer, revealed in WA Business News at the time, came as the Packer family’s interests were believed to be lobbying for a 10 per cent ownership cap on the casino to be lifted.

“What I said to James Packer in relation to the casino was that there are a whole lot of issues between the Government and the casino in terms of its future, and that we want to achieve a package where both sides of the equation could be happy,” Dr Gallop said.

“When people invest in the casino they need to know the basis of their investment going into the future.

“They have raised issues with us, we are obliged to respond.”

He said a decision was close but not imminent and was not driven by the State Government’s desire to raise revenue, despite some suggestions that loosening gambling restrictions could raise as much as $300 million for WA.

“I can’t give you a timetable on it but it is clearly something we need to resolve,” Dr Gallop said.

“The work we are doing with the casino is not based on our desire to extract huge amounts of revenue out of them.”

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