By Ian Neubauer
Ross Ferrar, executive chairman of the Australasian Gaming Machine Manufacturers Association (AGMMA), has defended yesterday’s (August 24) appearance of ‘anti-pokie’ Senator Nick Xenophon at the Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE).
“Senator Nick Xenophon, like anyone else, is entitled to his opinion. He is now a Federal Senator who potentially participates in all manner of debate which will affect the hospitality industry and Australia’s future,” Ferrar said.
“It is inappropriate for the industry to ignore the opinions of a person in such a position, and it is highly appropriate for him to accept our invitation to share his perspectives.”
Ferrar said last week he had not received any objections from the industry over the Senator’s appearance and that his session had received the most registrations of any throughout the three-day expo held at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
“I anticipate that Senator Xenophon will provide us with a range of insights into his thinking on current issues — not only around gaming,” Ferrar said.
Ferrar’s prediction came true when Xenophon said he was also concerned with the proliferation of the online gaming and racing industry, saying it was unsettling that a person could lose their house on a bet without stepping out the door.
“I am not about prohibition but about dealing with products that are unsafe,” Xenophon told the audience of gaming industry representatives from Australia and New Zealand.
And in related news, the AGMMA has changed its name to Gaming Technologies Association (GTA) to better reflect the industry’s future direction and dramatic changes in gaming technology.
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