A casino proposal was causing controversy in Canberra back in 1983. On the front page of The Canberra Times on November 20, it was reported a proposal by the government to open a casino in the capital would likely be rejected by the ACT House of Assembly. Five Liberal members of the ACT House of Assembly said they would support the convention centre and hotel aspects of the proposal from White Industries Limited but felt the proposal of a casino should be separate.
"Our party position will be that the White Industries proposal, as submitted, should be allowed to proceed, and we will all be voting that way," ACT Liberal leader Jim Leedman said.
"We think there is a moral and legal obligation to honour the contract between the former government and White Industries and there is certainly a need for the facilities the proposal has to offer."
Meanwhile, while the federal Labor government was in support of a casino in Canberra, Labor members of the ACT House of Assembly were expected to be split on the issue. Family Team and Australian Democrats members said they would not support a casino.
Canberra's first and only casino was opened over a decade later in 1994. Canberra Casino is the only casino in Australia not licensed to operate poker machines.
Today, new casinos remain controversial, with Crown Resort's Barangaroo casino in Sydney being banned from opening after an investigation into money laundering.