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Finding Evidence That Australia Is Helping England With Gambling Laws. 2005-10-17
A London newspaper found documents revealing that Australia's richest man, Kerry Packer, played a part in helping create gambling laws. He was actually vital for helping convince the British government to liberalize their gambling laws. All of this found, was in found documents.
According to the paperwork, Mr. Packer's project included Michael Stephenson, a former adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair. The adviser was hired in order to lobby for the changes. The papers even documented how they worked to do so.
This included a visit to Mr. Packer's Crown Casino in Melbourne by a British minister, and other MPs. Some of these MPs are known for being against gambling law changes. Later the same year he also had meetings with Treasury and Culture Department officials. Mr. Packer's private investment vehicle, Consolidated Press Holdings, and its joint-venture partner in Britain, Damian Aspinall, were ready to capitalize on the changes, which is why the bill was passed this year.
The partners have been lobbying for Government approval of a casino costing from £150 million ($A350 million) to £200 million as part of a £700 million development in Cardiff. They are also hoping for a £50 million casino in England's Midlands, having proposals approved for Newcastle and Swansea. Last year the partners stated that they intended to create 12 to 16 British sites. The investment going through the Aspinall Packer Group will leave Mr. Packer with a hold a 35% stake.
Mr. Packer started lobbying in 2002, when Richard Caborn, Minister of State in the Culture Department, visited Australia. The visit included a tour around Crown Casino, operated by Mr. Packerís Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. All of this incitement to bring gambling bills to the liberal light.
(By Andrea)