As you may well know, Aussie Prime Minister Julia Gillard abandoned her agreement with independent MP Andrew Wilkie to legislate mandatory precommitment technology for poker machines a few weeks back. This led to Wilkie withdrawing his conditional support of Gillard’s minority government, stating Gillard is “in breach of the written agreement she signed … a deal’s a deal and it must be honoured.”
Nevertheless, the pokie plan envisioned by Wilkie for pre-commitment legislation to be enacted by May and the technology rolled out by 2014 just ain’t happening. The most recent news on the Wilki front, though, is a joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform – chaired by the man himself yesterday – has advised online sports betting should be more tightly controlled.
A report by the Herald Sun maintains the federal parliamentary committee included a ban on promoting live odds at sporting venues and during event broadcasts. In the meeting, Wilkie reportedly said betting on sport was “proliferating” and was now worth in the region of $790 million a year.
Labour MP Nick Champion, the committee deputy chairman, said sports betting issues had “surreptitiously” crept into Australians’ lives – almost on a subconscious level. (Because Aussies are clearly oblivious when they unintentionally wagering a bet online.)
Anyhow, the committee recommended that a national independent research institute on gambling be set up, alongside an education campaign be developed to highlight the risk of “harm” from online gambling.
The committee also called for gambling advertising to be banned during times when children were likely to be watching television and for tighter controls on credit betting.