Review of historical Tasmanian casino deal

Andrew Drummond

A 45-year-old case involving the the dissolving of Tasmania's then Liberal coalition, a subsequent change in government and the awarding of a casino licence, is back in the spotlight.

Tasmania Police commissioner Darren Hine on Monday confirmed he has assigned an officer to review an investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption linked to the highest ranks of state politics in the early 1970s.

"The (1973) investigation found no evidence that the government of the day was terminated as a result of any criminal act, and no charges were laid," Mr Hine said in a statement.

"While no new evidence has been provided ... and most of the witnesses are now deceased, I acknowledge the public interest in this case and have requested a senior officer to review the investigation file."

The case is a hot topic in Tasmania as the state government determines how future gaming licences should be allocated.

Federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie insists there are a number of unexplained anomalies attached to the 1972 move by then independent MP Kevin Lyons - who held the balance of power - to sever ties with the Liberal Party and ultimately leading to the Labor Party winning power.

"(There are) allegations that Mr Lyons was bribed by British Tobacco and given incentives by Federal Hotels to resign from parliament, thereby bringing down the Bethune Liberal government and reinstalling the Reece Labor government," Mr Wilkie said.

A vocal opponent of the poker machine industry, Mr Wilkie said Mr Lyons - the son of former prime minister Joseph Lyons - who died in 2000, allegedly received numerous kickbacks including a property deal, $25,000 book advance for memoirs that were never published, and a lucrative contract for his public relations company.

"The review of the investigation file will determine whether any further action by police is appropriate," Mr Hine said.