Australian Greens spokesperson for gambling and sport, Senator Richard Di Natale, today called on Tony Abbott to get behind a Greens bill to restrict the promotion of gambling in sport.
“I welcome Tony Abbott’s acknowledgement that there is a problem with the constant bombardment of betting ads in sport, but his announcement today will do nothing to fix it,” said Senator Di Natale, who referred this issue to an inquiry earlier this year.
“Threatening to legislate if the industry doesn’t act themselves is exactly the same thing that Minister Conroy did in May 2011. In the 2 years since we have seen the number of betting ads on television quadruple and bookies have been further integrated into the broadcasts of our favourite sports.
“The industry’s response to Minister Conroy’s threat was to propose a new code of conduct that would still allow odds before and after a game of footy and during any scheduled breaks in between. It would do absolutely nothing to stop the likes of Tom Waterhouse from spruiking odds from the sideline or put an end to the constant bombardment of betting ads during commercial breaks.
“All sides of politics recognise there is a huge problem but Tony Abbott is just doubling down on Labor’s smokescreen for action – calling for self-regulation. We have already given the industry an opportunity to deal with this issue and they have failed spectacularly.
“People are looking for politicians to show some leadership, not to grandstand and make idle threats. Tony Abbott should learn from Labor’s mistakes and throw his support behind the Greens bill.
“The Greens have a bill that would ban all gambling ads before 9PM and ban the broadcast of live odds during sport and sports related programmes like The Footy Show.
“There’s no need for delay, if Tony Abbott is serious he should support the Greens in bringing on their bill for a vote before the election.”
Media Contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600