Tasmanian casino referendum, 1968
The Tasmanian casino referendum was a one-question referendum held on 14 December 1968, which concerned the granting of Australia's first casino licence to the Federal Group to operate the Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Sandy Bay.
The Wrest Point Riviera hotel was purchased by the Federal Group in the 1960s, and the new owners approached Premier Eric Reece about the prospect of the Tasmanian government granting a licence to operate a casino on the premises, citing that the casino would attract tourists during Tasmania's traditional winter "tourist slump". Reece agreed that a casino would be a tourism attraction in Tasmania, but as no casino licence had been granted in Australia before, the government called for a referendum to gauge public support for the issue.
|Bass||40,472||34,989 (86.45%)||16,622 (47.51%)||18,367 (52.49%)|
|Braddon||42,420||37,189 (87.67%)||18,453 (49.62%)||18,736 (50.38%)|
|Denison||43,529||38,814 (89.17%)||22,407 (57.73%)||16,407 (42.27%)|
|Franklin||38,248||34,838 (91.08%)||20,856 (59.87%)||13,982 (40.13%)|
|Wilmot||41,475||36,871 (88.90%)||18,501 (50.18%)||18,370 (49.82%)|
|Total||206,144||182,701||96,839 (53.00%)||85,862 (47.00%)|
- Yes: 96,839 (53%); No: 85,862 (47%)
- Turnout: 92.67%
- Informal votes: 8,339
The referendum passed by a margin of 6%, and the Wrest Point Casino Licence and Development Bill 1968 was passed in October that year, granting the licence to the Federal Group. There was considerable opposition to the casino, and concern over the fact that a monopoly licence was awarded to Federal Hotels without any call for a tender.
The Wrest Point Hotel Casino was completed and opened in 1973.