NRL and Federal Government clash over pokies

TAGs: Australia, NRL

NRL try being scoredThe fight over mandatory pre-commitment technology has intensified as the National Rugby League (NRL) joined the scuffles. The sporting institution’s chief executive David Gallop stated the fact that it will be damaging to the sport thanks to the contribution clubs make to the NRL.

“Our leagues clubs were set up to support our game and our clubs are genuinely concerned at the ramifications of these changes both for NRL and junior rugby league clubs,” he said.

“Kids get to play our game because of the subsidies provided by leagues clubs.

“The comments reflect that this is a highly political issue for the government but that should not stop people looking at the potential damage this may cause and that there’s real doubt about whether the changes will work.”

It came as ClubsAustralia and The Australian Hotels Association unveiled a new advertising campaign featuring former player Steve Mortimer. It’s thought that around 1.5million people will see the campaign. It’s thought the earlier mentioned clubs support NRL teams by around AUS$25million each year and that in turn helps to fund the game at a grass roots level.

To say that the Federal Government is slightly rankled by the new campaign is an understatement in itself.

Families Minister Jenny Macklin said “family misery “and” pokie addicts fund NRL clubs. She added, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, “No parent would support having another family’s misery pay for their footy team. We don’t stand at the sidelines and watch our kids tackle high. And we shouldn’t stand by and let pokie addicts pay for NRL clubs. That’s not fair play.”

You thought that was dramatic. There’s more.

Long time anti-pokies campaigners Nick Xenophon and Tim Costello accused the NRL of “perpetuating lies” and of “shocking” behaviour. Not for the first time we’d like to point Australian politicians to the work of Dr Patrick Basham. His words that, “a taste for risk is essential for human development. Entrepreneurship and risk-taking have always been essential parts of a progressive society and a progressing society,” could be something for the Aussies to chow down on some day soon.


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