By Annette Shailer

The Brumby Government’s gaming machine entitlements auction took an interesting twist last week, with the Treasurer contradicting evidence given by Minister for Gaming, Tony Robinson.

Robinson has repeatedly asserted that the Government did not forecast any sale price for the gaming machine entitlements that were auctioned on May 10.

However last Thursday Treasurer, John Lenders, issued a press release stating: “Our Budget forward estimates included an estimated $100 million each year in revenue from the gaming machine entitlement auction in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 financial years.”

Shadow Minister for Gaming, Michael O’Brien, said that if the Treasurer’s statement is true than the Minister for Gaming gave false evidence to a Parliamentary committee.

“If no sale price for the gaming entitlements was forecast, as claimed by Minister Robinson, how could revenue from the sale of gaming entitlements be included in the budget, as claimed by the Treasurer?” he said.

O’Brien also said that the Brumby Government lining the pockets of pokie operators at the expense of Victorian taxpayers by giving away gaming entitlements at low sale prices had led to ministers contradicting each other.

“The Brumby Government’s pokies giveaway is a financial scandal that will hurt all Victorians. The incompetence of Tony Robinson as Minister for Gaming has cost Victorians too much for too long. It is time he went,” O’Brien said.

The pokie auction delivered $981 million to the state, with many of the state’s club licences selling at their reserve of $5500, a major reduction from the $42,000 price tag some club operators paid prior to the auction.

The Shout Team

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