Gambling group aiming to hit Xenophon’s hopes - report

Gambling group aiming to hit Xenophon’s hopes - report

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Totally Gaming
Nick Xenophon is a long-term critic of the gambling industry

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA), which includes members from the gambling industry, is financing opponents of pokies critic Senator Nick Xenophon ahead of next month’s General Election, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

The report claims that the trade group, whose main corporate partners include Tabcorp and Aristocrat, as well as representatives from the alcohol and tobacco industries, is supporting the major parties with a particular focus on opposing Xenophon and his team in South Australia and the Greens in vulnerable seats across the country.

Xenophon, who began his political career as an anti-pokies campaigner, is tipped to win as many as three Senate seats and could hold the balance of power with the Greens in the Senate after the election.

A senior AHA figure told the newspaper that the association wants a “two-horse race" in Australian politics and that both Xenophon and the Greens were hostile to the industry's interests. Xenophon said he was happy the gaming lobby would provide a boost to advertising and media in his home state.

"They've been gunning for me since 1997. But this election they are getting out the cannons and the missiles," he told the newspaper. "But people will see through this. No amount of anti-Xenophon advertising will hide the damage that pokies have done to the community."

TotallyGaming.com says: “Xenophon has been a fierce campaigner against all forms of gambling, and it is little surprise that the industry is keen to prevent him from expanding his influence.”

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