A casino in Dubbo would ensure the long term viability of the city, says Dubbo regional councillor John Ryan.
Cr Ryan wants the NSW government to permit a restricted gaming licence for Dubbo to allow a casino. It's part of his plan to attract international visitors to Dubbo and the region.
However, this casino would be not-for-profit and contain no poker machines.
"For the people who are concerned about the issue of gambling and problem gamblers, I say that horse has already well and truly bolted," the councillor said.
By having no poker machines, Cr Ryan said the casino wouldn't take business away from pubs and clubs.
But the money generated from the business could be used to fund projects in the city.
"I believe the not-for-profit dollars should be used in areas of grassroots proactive drug and alcohol initiatives, rehab and detoxification, the restoration of fish habitats in our rivers and all those things which provide intangible community wellbeing, but which receive little or no funding," Cr Ryan said.
He said anything from the rehabilitation facility for Dubbo to a bid on an NRL game could be paid for with the profits.
Cr Ryan said the casino could be used as a training ground for people from low socio-economic backgrounds so they could gain the skills for a career.
"That could have a massive impact when it comes to decent jobs and career paths for people from the local Indigenous community, where opportunities are currently, sadly, lacking," the councillor said.
The motion calling for council to advocate to the NSW government for the gaming licence was unanimously supported by Dubbo regional councillors on Monday night. Councillors Jane Diffey, Anne Jones and Stephen Lawrence were not in attendance.
Cr Ryan said he had been speaking to some senior government ministers about the idea and they had seemed enthusiastic.
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