Senator condemns ‘narrow’ Australian review

Senator condemns ‘narrow’ Australian review

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 Totally Gaming
Nick Xenophon also wants scrutiny of licensed gambling companies

Nick Xenophon, the Australian senator and prominent gambling industry opponent, has criticised the “narrow” scope of the online gaming review announced earlier this week.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday that the inquiry’s terms of reference include an examination of the “economic impacts of illegal offshore wagering" and "associated financial transactions on legitimate Australian wagering businesses” and the regulative, legislative and technological options available to “mitigate the cost of illegal offshore wagering”.

However, Xenophon told the Australian newspaper that the review, which will be led by former New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell, seemed to be ignoring issues created by licensed operators.

He said: “This very narrow review ignores the powerful vested interests of the online gambling industry in Australia, including James Packer’s CrownBet, and the impact of TV advertising on a problem-gambling culture.”

Independent South Australia senator Xenophon is currently drafting legislation to ban gambling advertisements during sports television broadcasts, and recently wrote to Australian Football League chief executive Gillon McLachlan suggesting his organisation should not become reliant on financial backing from the gambling industry.

Morrison defended the scope of the review, explaining that O’Farrell had free reign to investigate the sector.

He said: “There are no prescriptions in the terms of reference. I have not sought to restrain him, nor have I sought to restrain the submissions that will be presented.”

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