Dubbo mayor Ben Shields says he will no longer support a casino in Dubbo, after strong community backlash against the proposal.
Dubbo Regional Council is currently looking into the idea of a casino in Dubbo. It was a proposal brought forward by councillor John Ryan at the November council meeting.
Cr Ryan wants a casino for Dubbo to draw international tourists to the region. His plan is for it to be not-for-profit with the money it generates going back into community projects.
The councillor says the casino would also be without poker machines to ensure business is not taken away from local pubs and clubs.
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But since the idea was raised, Cr Shields said he had received a large number of phone calls from community members and organisations who were against a casino. The mayor said concerns had been raised about social issues like gambling addictions.
"Because there is so much community angst against the casino I won't be supporting it unless I can see some kind of community turn around for it. But at the moment it's clear the community is saying outright they're against the proposal," Cr Shields said.
He said it was still worth investigating the proposal but at this stage the community was "dead set against it".
At the November meeting, the councillors in attendance, including the mayor, were unanimous in their support of DubVegas.
Cr Shields said it had "the potential to be a great economic boom generator for Dubbo" and "would employ a lot of people and bring in a hell of a lot of tourists".
But while he had heard from people who agree it would have economic benefits, the mayor said he would be voting against taking the proposal any further when it came up again in April.
However, he said he encouraged both those who were against it and those who supported it to get in touch.
Despite no longer supporting the casino, Cr Shields said he always welcomed councillors bringing forward ideas that would attract tourists to the local government area.
For a casino to be constructed, the NSW government would have to permit a restricted gaming licence in Dubbo.