Mike Baird Dodges Questions About Casino Exemptions To Lockouts

15 March 2016 | 3:36 pm | Staff Writer

"Those that know me, know my motivations, and they're not that."

Just one day after it was announced a rally will be held in Sydney this weekend to protest the lockout-free casinos, NSW Premier Mike Baird has attempted to evade questioning as to why The Star Casino and soon-to-be-opened Barangaroo are exempt from the contentious legislation during a radio interview this morning. 

Appearing on 2DayFM breakfast show, Rove & Sam, when asked why casinos are not included in the Sydney lockout zone, Baird said, "There are different issues there". 

"They're given licenses across a range of parameters that come with those specific licenses."

When pressed further by co-host Rove McManus as to what those "specific licenses" are, Baird appeared to fumble through his words. 

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"Security requirements, there is all types of things that come into...I've heard people argue about this on an ongoing basis," he said. 

Attempting to justify why The Star is exempt from lockouts, Baird said the suburb itself, not the casino, was made exempt. 

"Pyrmont was chosen, so the Pyrmont Hotel is outside the exclusion zone," Baird explained. 

"But again, this is something that can be considered as part of the review."

Sam Frost pressed the Premier even further with her personal opinion on the situation. 

"I think that The Star Casino and Barangaroo pay the government a lot of money," Frost suggested.

"So once you close down everything else you've got no other choice but to go to The Star or Barangaroo, and then they make more money and then you make more money as the government... that's what I think is happening."

However, Baird quickly dismissed Frost's theory. 

"Well, it's not Sam," Baird responded.

"I can tell you this: I've met with the families who have lost kids in violence in the streets...those that know me, know my motivations, and they're not that. If part of this review says it needs to be expanded and include casinos, then of course I'll be open to that."

The comments come just days after it was announced that the NSW government will meet with anti-lockout activists to discuss Sydney's nightlife over the coming months. 

It is expected that the review of the lockout laws will be delivered by August.