Australian Greens spokesperson for sport and gambling, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that the reported move by betting agencies to ban live odds would only address one part of the problem.
“The Greens set up an inquiry into the promotion of gambling in sport back in February and it has thrown the industry and the government into a tail-spin,” said Senator Di Natale.
“This morning there are reports that parts of the betting industry have reversed the position on live odds since appearing before my inquiry, and now support a complete ban. While this is an encouraging first step, it only deals with part of the problem.
“The growing nexus between gambling and sport isn’t just about live odds or Tom Waterhouse, it’s about the constant bombardment of betting ads. The number of betting ads on TV has quadrupled over the last two years and people have had a gut full.
“I have a bill before the parliament that would do three things: ban all gambling ads before 9PM; ban all odds during sport and sports related programs, like The Footy Show; and prevent gambling ads from being integrated into broadcasts. Support for these reforms has been steadily gaining momentum both in the community and in the parliament.
“The betting industry are now trying to head-off the meaningful reforms in my bill by offering to move on just one part of it. They desperately want to protect their ability to constantly shove their product down our throats while we watch sport, even if it means they can no longer spruik the odds.
“The Greens care about protecting Australian sport and about protecting our kids from becoming the next generation of problem gamblers. Does Labor care enough to do more than just talk about it? How about Tony Abbott?
“The government has put its faith in a process of self-regulation for two years but it has not delivered the kind of reforms that the Australian public want to see. The time for decisive action has come and it can be achieved if either of the old parties get behind my bill.”
Media Contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600